“So you transitioned on the job?” That was the question I was asked by one of the transgender panelists after the meeting the other night.
I wrote about this about three years ago. I have a rather narrow definition of transition as it applies to transgender people. It is a definition, really, of transsexual transition – one with surgery and legal name changes and the like. It implies things about me – about my identity and my intentions – that I don’t know are correct. And because of this, it do my best to avoid using the term in reference to myself.
But it doesn’t stop others from using it. It seems that idea of ‘transition’ has broadened some – and I likely fall into the group of people who have transitioned ‘socially’. Back when I started to deal with all of this, I friend of mine lived her life as a woman with no desire for surgery: she called it ‘crossliving’. Some called her a non-op transsexual, some called her a crossdresser, and some called her a fraud. But she was living a life true to how she identified.
It would be hard for me to say she had not ‘transitioned’. Twelve years later, I look at myself and find I am doing something similar. No, I have not changed my name or made any ‘body mods’ – but my presentation is clearly more feminine. As I made my way to the discussion the other night, three times I was addressed as ‘Miss’. It happens a lot and I cannot deny that I like it and that it is what I want people to see.
But still, that word… There is a ring of finality to it. There is a sense that one has passed the point of no return and that all one can do is to soldier onward. It’s a frightening thought to me – I don’t exactly know why, but it is. I know I could not go back to the way I used to be, but still…
Even the bravest of us rarely has the courage for what he Really Knows. – Nietzsche
So very true…