I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately. Yeah, more than usual. 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. Today it’s more about who am I – Kyle or Casey. The former feels more like a pen name all the time, whereas it used to feel like who I was/becoming. This year, I have most definitely come back to myself again. 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. It suits me.
I’m also proud of the way my external transition is being complemented by an internal one. I am out and proud in my family, community and at work as a trans* guy. 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. That physical comfort has been complemented by a mental and emotional ease that I have never felt. 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. But part of this new ease is definitely the result of me making the decision to transition. 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. The voices in my head, the endless debate on what to do, when to do it, how much to do, etc., finally quieted. That was an amazing sensation and it’s still quiet up there. 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. 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. I could fit in externally, but not internally. I always felt like I was making exceptions, forcing myself into shapes I didn’t naturally come in. 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. I was the lesbian, temporarily. I was the dyke, for a while. I was butch, and still am, but in a way I am defining for myself, rather than conforming to someone else’s standard. 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. The person I really am, the one I am becoming more and more, is much bigger. See, Kyle has been the persona from which I could explore my gender… but I’ve folded that exploration into my true self. Kyle has been a way to explore sides of me I withheld from the rest of my life: the boy to his Sir, the faggot, the slut. 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. I won’t lie and say I haven’t enjoyed living through that side of me but it’s not genuine. I think I’ve done what I needed to do through that lens. Now it’s time to take what I’ve learned back into the greater whole. 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. 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. I’m keeping vulnerability, honesty, healthy communication and emotional intelligence. I’m keeping the sense of self, the strong, calm feeling of knowing who I am, finally. I’m also keeping the knowledge that I am still evolving. 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. 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. I’m harvesting the decision to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. 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. Happy Autumn, everyone.
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