I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately. Yeah, more than usual. Â A year ago that question and most answers centered around who I was in relationship to transition. Or who I was in relationship to relationships. Â Today it’s more about who am I – Kyle or Casey. Â The former feels more like a pen name all the time, whereas it used to feel like who I was/becoming. Â This year, I have most definitely come back to myself again. Â I will still the name ‘Casey’ here rather than my actual name, for good reasons, but it’s harder and harder because I’m proud of the name I chose and went to court to make mine legally. Â It suits me.
I’m also proud of the way my external transition is being complemented by an internal one. Â I am out and proud in my family, community and at work as a trans* guy. Â I’m four months into testosterone use and feeling better and more comfortable in my skin all the time.
These physical changes are triggering mental and emotional changes. Â That physical comfort has been complemented by a mental and emotional ease that I have never felt. Â Part of that may be that I’m finally out of the deep dive of depression I was in for so long. Part of it may be the time I’ve been on the planet, figuring out my priorities and learning to live with my strengths and weaknesses. Â But part of this new ease is definitely the result of me making the decision to transition. Â I’ve been asked if I noticed the difference once I started taking T, but I started noticing the difference as soon as I made the decision to take T. Â The voices in my head, the endless debate on what to do, when to do it, how much to do, etc., finally quieted. Â That was an amazing sensation and it’s still quiet up there. Â Because it’s quiet, I can move forward and live my life. Because it’s quiet, I can think, I can process, I can see my life more clearly.
What do I see?
I see myself as someone who has struggled with their gender all their life. Â I see myself as someone who has attempted to fit into one box after another, trying to conform to the rules of a succession of communities without success. Â I could fit in externally, but not internally. Â I always felt like I was making exceptions, forcing myself into shapes I didn’t naturally come in. Â As I tried to make myself fit, I would temporarily feel like I was a part of that community, relaxing into the role they saw me filling. Â I was the lesbian, temporarily. Â I was the dyke, for a while. Â I was butch, and still am, but in a way I am defining for myself, rather than conforming to someone else’s standard. Â I am genderqueer, coming from an authentic place informed by my lived experience of being outside the binary since I was conceived. I am trans* by my own definition and my own way of being.
I am going to continue to blog and write as Kyle Jones but this is an alias. Â The person I really am, the one I am becoming more and more, is much bigger. Â See, Kyle has been the persona from which I could explore my gender… but I’ve folded that exploration into my true self. Â Kyle has been a way to explore sides of me I withheld from the rest of my life: Â the boy to his Sir, the faggot, the slut. Â From a Kyle standpoint, I’ve been able to live out fantasies of being a butch about town, a guy with a harem, a Casanova, yes, even at times, a player. Â I won’t lie and say I haven’t enjoyed living through that side of me but it’s not genuine. Â I think I’ve done what I needed to do through that lens. Â Now it’s time to take what I’ve learned back into the greater whole. Â Now it’s time to integrate.
Summer is over and it’s harvest time, time to bring in all that has been developing since spring planting. Â Today I picked the remainder of the squash, cucumbers and beans from my actual garden. It’s also the time of year that I pull together the threads and ideas planted throughout the year and decide what to harvest – keep for the future – and what to put on the compost heap. Â I’m keeping vulnerability, honesty, healthy communication and emotional intelligence. Â I’m keeping the sense of self, the strong, calm feeling of knowing who I am, finally. Â I’m also keeping the knowledge that I am still evolving. Â Onto the compost heap go the need to have many partners – or potential partners – as a way to fight my insecurity and fear of scarcity, along with as much of my sexism and misogyny as I can. On the heap goes fear of being alone, fear that I’m not enough, fear that if I don’t do everything and get in on everything, I’ll miss out on all the good stuff. Â Into the harvest basket goes the increasing sense of confidence that the good things happen where I am, if I will just keep my eyes, mind and heart open. Â I’m harvesting the decision to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Â I’m filling my basket with the understanding that my heart may have no limit on how much love it can hold, but my time and energy have limits on how much I can give to those I am in relationships with.
No doubt about it, life is good, and it’s only getting better. Â Happy Autumn, everyone.
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