Un/Supportive

Lance A Worth's picture

Hey everyone, It's Lance again.

I have been on Testosterone for not quite 3 months and the changes are going great. I'm gaining some of the self-esteem most people take for granted.

For instance, 3 months ago I had an extremely feminine voice and it bugged the crap out of me. I was a talented singer but I never wanted to share it because... well.. I sounded like a girl.

Yesterday I rerecorded my voicemail greeting and reviewed it... and I sounded definably male. This is incredibly exciting to me! While it's not the deep booming voice i hear in my head, it is definably male. This is a sort of landmark for me, like crossing the border to the Old Country.

I see it as fairly natural to enjoy achieving something I've longed for since I was a child, so I posted a celebratory note about it on my facebook.

Here's where the needle's torn off of the record. It's complex, but follow me and feel free to ask questions:

I have a dear dear friend who is male inside and female outside (the insider's term is 'gender variant'), but chooses not to undertake Gender Confirmation Treatment (hormones, surgery, name change etc). Zie and I have had a lot of talks about the similarities and differences between who we are and what we need.

I thought we had reached an understanding but maybe that this is not the case. In response to my celebratory note, zie wrote:

If you have to change your behavior to gain approval as a man, isn't that just as lame as being forced to act more feminine to gain approval as a woman? Just be yourself. To try and be more than that is phony. =/ Fight the gender mold; don't fit it. Androgyny is not a crime.

As much as I love the kid, I'm pretty irritated. It seems like every time I celebrate who I am I get some comment like this.

It leaves me to wonder why the hell I consider hir a support. Part of the point of this process is to get out from under people who tell me who to be...I'm trying to find joy in existence and create an identity and appearance that's comfortable and dignified for me.

I did respond kindly, because that's what I do, and because it was a publically made comment. But I'm starting to wonder what is going on with this kid, why zie attempts to tear me down with a frequency that borders on compulsion.

The thing is, aside from this one crap behavior, my friend is awesome! Brilliant, funny, kind, everything I could want in a friend. I'm not perfect either, and zie stuck with me through some crappy behavior on my part, too, so I know I have to square this in a way that doesn't repay the discomfort, but improves our relationship.

Anyone got advice on how to do that?

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my advice usually sucks

arvan's picture

and I'm not likely to break the streak here. ;-)

 

If I hear you accurately, you have your own experience of declaring and defining your Self in your own terms.  Your friend chimes along with a course of action in the form of a philosophy or platitude, when what you might prefer is a partner or witness in your celebration.  You weren't looking for approval or anyone's opinion of the right-ness of your actions, but someone to say 'awesome!' and 'I'm glad you're happy.  That makes me happy to see it.'

All I can say is that I'd probably feel the same as you..and that people either hear us or they don't.  We've all got our things and sometimes they distract us from hearing what other people are saying.

I like your approach of temperence and understanding.  The only advice I can offer is to communicate with that friend, in clear terms about the gap between what you were looking for and what you received.  Share with 'zie' how that response impacted you and what you value about the friendship and what you would like in the future.  Ask also, what 'zie' heard and what 'zie' was thinking.  Ask 'zie' what your friendship means to hir and create together a path forward, built on clear communication and shared understanding of how you both value the friendship.

that's it.  you can fire me after this.

-arvan

 

This doesn't get you fired, it gets you a raise.

Lance A Worth's picture

Excellent advice, man. Thank you.

Thank you

The Ultimates's picture

Lance, thank you for sharing your experience.  Your courage and determination are immeasurable, and I can't wait for your next inspiring blog.

Teri

 

Thanks!

Lance A Worth's picture

Thanks Teri! Check out my other blog, too: Project Pastiche

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