Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Space Between

A little over a week ago, after a long Saturday of working, I went out to a local club.

I might have mentioned a disaster at work, and the repairs were finally made the following weekend. Allow us to return to normal operation.

So after working like crazy the Saturday before and all week. Coupled with a early and long day that Saturday I still dressed and went out.

Not the best idea I know, because by the time I drove home and cleaned up to go to bed I had been up for twenty-two hours straight.

But I had fun, got to see some friends I had not seen in a while.

And made one new one.

Now I had been introduced to her at least once briefly before. However we really never talked much past names and greetings.

This isn't a bad thing, it is just I have a tendency to be reserved when it comes to the Trans community as a whole. There are large parts of it that don't sit well with me, nor to I feel a part of them. In addition to the fact that most Trans (as I'll call them) that approach me I view as really being men dressed as woman. I can read their intentions so quickly that I usually just be polite as possible and just cut off the conversation rather fast.

I understand why they are doing it, but that isn't me.

Nothing about her jumped out at me as being an issue originally, but, as I found out, she was rather shy herself. I just didn't know what to say to her other than hello.

Now I cannot recall at all what sparked our conversation this time around. I know there are a few people there that are mutual friends. That might have generated it. I don't know as I was rather tired and the night is a bit fuzzy.

Still almost immediately I liked her. Down to earth, sensible, funny, smart, and even a little silly.

I ended up spending a lot of time with her that night. (Some of my other friends were forced to leave a little earlier. So I was rather on my own.)

We talked, we joked, we even accompanied each other on the dance floor for a few songs.

By the end of the night I was plopped down next to her on a little ledge chatting away, not wanting to head home. Simply enjoying her company and her attitude.

I was already in a frame of mind that this was someone I could build a solid hopefully lasting friendship with.

Then came the gotcha.

I was mistakenly under the impression that she was transitioning, if she had not done so already. The way she carried herself, her mannerisms, were not suggesting anything else.

I don't remember talking to her about it that night, but I know since then as we have chatted through email and online that she isn't.

I cannot fault her reasons why, in fact they are valid and I can respect her for them. We are all different and some of us while wishing we could just, well, never can do so.

The argument could be made that sometimes they are just excuses because they are afraid to do otherwise. I will give her the benefit of the doubt here just because she seems very sure of herself otherwise.

This however is not the point of this post.

The issue here lies with me.

What I am having trouble with is the fact that I am transitioning and she is not.

This bothers me since here is someone I really enjoy spending time with. The more I talk to her the more I like her. She isn't like most others and there is a level of mutual respect between us all ready. Yet she is going to keep her self limited in how she lives her life.

I am not.

I already limit myself in the trans community. Yes, there are some great people in it but I am transitioning. I know I am transsexual. Down the road I am simply going to be living my life unhindered as me. Where I go what I do is going to be open to just about anything. I am already doing that now as time allows.

Which means there are those that will be stuck in whatever situation they are, and won't be able or willing to follow.

I can already see a rift forming between my self and the trans community and it is my fear people like her that I would want to be friends with could or will fade out of prominace as I move forward.

It's not like I don't like the Trans community, I have met some really great people. However my goal is become the woman or girl I have always wanted to be. I simply am not going to restrict myself to hanging around the trans community simply because others won't do anything else.

Which brings me back to the issue at hand. I know I am going to see and talk to her again. The amount of chatting I have done with her since has already left an impression on me.

I just fear that friends of value, such as her, are going to pay the price when my life changes and a large space is wedged between us.


Melissa said...

There will only be a large space wedged between you, if you want one to be. I can't imagine why the fact that she is not transitioning, would preclude a lasting friendship with her, unless you have plans to shun other trans people and go stealth, once you've transitioned. If that's the way you feel, I would think you would be better off avoiding trans hangouts altogether, and seeking social situations and friendships exclusively with natal women.

As for men in dresses, I know several very sweet post-op women who look and sound like men in dresses, but then again I have known some natal women who looked like men in dresses too. Some people, whether cis or trans, are just are not blessed with feminine looks and demeanor. That doesn't mean they are any less a woman than the lucky girl with the small frame and delicate features.

Melissa XX

Kelli Bennett said...

Obviously I need to clarify all this.

First the fact that she isn't transitioning would not preclude me from forming a friendship with her. It just poses some issues which is what I way trying to get at.

However I don't normally look to the trans community for friends. It is always a tricky proposition which was what I was trying to get it in my post.

I have friends who are trans who aren't going to transition. They, however, place no limitations on their life as a woman. Which makes it easier for me to spend time with them. One dear friend in fact goes everywhere as one and we even spent a day together site seeing in Atlanta.

I also find this easier to do with trans women who are already transitioning much like I am. Along with those that already have. When the restrictions aren't there it is simply two people becoming friends without any issues to get in between. There is also a basic understand that not many other people are going to get. This is what I had thought with this new friend.

The issue with her is I am sensing hesitations about somethings and I was simply thinking it could be problematic. Doesn't mean I won't try, but I also don't have the time or energy to get someone out of their shell. I have enough going on as it is.

As for the trans community? Well I don't know my involvement is already waning now. Doesn't mean I will eschew it completely, I will just have to deal with that when I cross that bridge.

The hangout I go to now isn't really trans but they are there. I would say the crowd is 30/50/20, trans/men/women. I am usually hanging out with whom ever. Since I am attracted to men I spend a lot of time talking to them. Though I talk to a lot of the cis girls as well too.

As for my 'men in dresses comment' well I am very non-judgmental. I know a lot of girls who aren't going to be pretty or have trouble getting the world to perceive their womanhood. However they carry themselves with as much class and dignity as then can. I respect that.

But when someone walks up to me, and in the first 30 seconds, gush all over me, make an obvious bad pass at hitting on me, or flat out drop a sexual innuendo on me? Well, you get that label and I am automatically on the defensive with that person. Not to mention I try to avoid them.

I like men, I just don't like them dressed as woman and quite frankly if you are thinking down those lines that fast well it is hard to deny the fact of who they are. It is their personality that makes them obvious. It is no difference then if a guy came up and decided to get all creepy on me.

It just bothers me since I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt since I know being trans, or a CD or whatever isn't easy.

Jerica Truax said...

Hi Kellie

I think you show a common struggle for many of us and dealing with the trans community. I know that myself, I want to just live my life as a woman and be "stealth" and for the most part, I do that. I don't come out to everybody I meet necessarily.

At the same time, I'm trying to find a balance because I feel like I am trans and I have gone through a lot to get where I'm at and I'd like to share that experience with others and help others get past the same kinds of hurdles.

I can definitely understand your intolerance of "guys in dresses"...I've only seen one person like that so far in my journey and it is pretty annoying.

I've watched girls come and go in the trans community and I think that in itself is a reflection of this battle within me....am I trans? Or am I a woman? Or am I both? And how do I deal with that?

Anyway, I hope that you can still be friends with this lady because it seems you two have a nice connection.


<3 Jerica