It’s been a busy week or so for me and an interesting one. Last week, because I wanted to do a beta version of a certification, I was studying like mad in addition to teaching our new course in front of students. My average day just for the teaching, not including travel time, was nothing less than 10 hours. Add to that a round-trip total of 3 hours on the subway and then another 3-5 hours each night studying and the week was 80+ hours of “work”. Anyways, I wrote the certification yesterday and am waiting for the results. I’m hopeful that I passed because then I won’t have to recertify (which means writing the regular exam and getting 85% on it). It was a quiet week at home for me since K was in Los Angeles and Bobcat lost her voice (I suspect she was meowing all day trying to find someone and couldn’t). While I like my little moments of bachelorhood, I prefer it when K is around. More laughter and dreaming happens.
Anyways, back to last week. So this was the first week I was teaching at our NYC facility and doing so, out to the staff, as an FTM. I didn’t tell my students since it’s not a really a requirement nor is it really their business. If someone had asked, I’d certainly say that I am trans and such but since it wasn’t relevant, I left it. I used the men’s washroom but usually when empty (as it happened it was a light load of students this week at the facility so it was easier for me). What was interesting was how I was read. Since I haven’t had top surgery yet I worry about how I present still but I was completely read as to how I view myself. It’s amazing how far I’ve come in a year (July 24 happens to be my year anniversary on T). The reviews on my teaching came back good and the references were entirely “he”. This was good and I had to chuckle as one student, his transphobia showing a bit, went on a rant about being “felt up” while on the subway. He said he wouldn’t have mind if it was a women but if it was a guy or a trans women, well!
I have doubts that he was “felt up” and that it was more a question of people shifting when the subway is packed (Toronto has nothing on NYC when it comes to packed subways, let me tell you). I didn’t laugh and the look on my face must have been enough to shut him up because he didn’t mention it again except for one last comment that he could identify a trans person easily. I froze at this. Based on his demeanour and claimed history, he sounds like a guy who uses action first and then — maybe — thinks about it. He claims to have “family” ties back to Europe. But he read me as I a guy and didn’t clue in. He didn’t say anything further. A person’s prejudice is their own thing and as long as he stopped it in the classroom, then all was good (which he did — amazing how one doesn’t have to speak to get a point across). I had thought about writing about this yesterday but was restless and I couldn’t figure out why — until both my aunts reminded me.
17 years ago yesterday my mom was murdered. The guy who did it is now free and out there. Last I heard he had cancer and I have no doubts that he never accepted responsibility for what he did. Up until his release he was convinced it was my mom’s fault that this happened. Now, she was never the easiest woman to live with but blaming her for his actions.. well. A real man takes responsibility for what he’s done, even if it was a really horrible mistake. And that action was. It was that action that put my life onto this path, for good or bad. I may have still ended up on this path if it had never happened but how different life might have been. I remember it took a long time for the guilt and anger to subside. I still look for those little moments I try to remember where we were happy — usually holidays at my aunt’s house. I know I was blessed to have so many aunts and uncles to turn to. I know that they may not fully understand this process or path I’m on but they do love me, support me and know I’m happy.
And really, when I look back, the one thing I wanted in life was love. And yet, I never realized I had it at times. I know now. The transition of body is, I believe I’ve said somewhere, the easy part. It’s the transition of mind and soul that is the challenge. Learning to love one’s self when the world feels against you and has been against your true self can, at times, make you doubt your sanity or path that life gives you. But ultimately, it is about finding one’s own true happiness.
Who’d thunk I’d found that in this lifetime?