Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's next?

I had taken a hiatus from blogging.  My heart just wasn't in it.  I was, and am, on some new-fangled kind of journey and blogging about my "transgender" daughter seemed disingenuous.  Why?  (and I hope I do not offend the transgender community when I say this) because just....a girl.

Ok, Ok, I know that might piss people off as if I'm covertly saying there is something to be ashamed of to be a transgendered person.  There isn't-if you have read any of my previous posts, I think I've made that clear enough.  I can't explain the change in me.  Yes, it's partly because of the change in DJ-she has female parts top and bottom now.  Does this make her a girl?  NO-she was already a girl.  So what's different?

I will explore this as I write-who knows how it will come out.

For me, and most definitely for her, there was the fear of her being found to have "male" parts.  We all have our fears and most of them are based on our life experiences.  That is certainly true for me.  At the heart of it all was my concern that if someone, somehow, found that DJ had "male" parts, that they would classify her as a freak and treat her as such.  We know what this world does to people who it believes are freaks....2000 years ago they left you to die.  Today, that might be comparatively merciful considering what torture those who don't fit the mould are subject to.

To me, Transgender equaled a medical diagnosis.  It was an answer to the "Why" of my daughter having "male" parts.  It was rational and could be explained.  Don't get me wrong-I don't think anyone should have to explain themselves in general.  But if one is faced with some sort of anguish due to the misunderstanding of another person, we want to be able to mitigate that, if possible, to save ourselves from pain.  It's natural.  The Transgender word was that, for me.

If we are cautious, and "erase" evidence of DJ's former identity, then perhaps she can live a life without worry of being "found out".  In other words, she can just be a girl.  Not a transgender girl, not a girl who used to be a boy, but just a regular girl who loves hair and makeup, music and art, techno and action adventure movies, physics and ancient alien shows.

DJ is doing well for the most part but the past six months have been anything but normal for her. She has traveled between home and hospitals, and nowhere else, these past six months.  She is hesitant to put her toes into the pool of general society again and who can blame her?  She needs a regular schedule and a regular pattern of getting out among her peers so that she can learn to fit in again.  She'll attend community college in the fall and hopefully will not have to set foot into her previous high school again, except to walk across the stage to get her diploma.  I already have a plan to pack the stands with DJ fans so that when her name is announced, we can drown out any naysayers, if there are any.

This is why I want to leave the "transgender" word behind because it can act as both scaffolding and noose.  We previously needed it for scaffolding, but now it's feeling rather tight around the neck so maybe it's time to cut the knot.  I know that biologically she'll always be transgender, but people with other medical diagnoses don't go around wearing signs that say, "Marfan's syndrome" or "cleft palate". Granted, if you look closely enough at their bodies, and knew what to look for, you might be able to figure out that they have a congenital anomaly, but most people can't tell and why would any of us draw attention to a medical diagnosis that doesn't have to limit us necessarily anyway?  It just makes people treat us differently because of their preconceived notions.

So that leaves me not knowing whether or not to keep blogging, or maybe I should just change the name of the blog....not sure what's next for me.  But at least we have a pretty good plan for what's next for DJ who, by the way, attended her first Zumba class this week.  Has felt dynamite wearing her first bikini a couple of weeks ago, is back to composing music, will likely start ballet class this fall and is finally ok with the plans we've laid out for her to finish her high school education.  It was a long haul getting to this point and we still have work to do.  She is still socially awkward with folks outside of her nuclear family because she has this distorted idea that she is "responsible" for entertaining people and is not good at it.  But she's been out of the social loop for a while now- but I have to believe getting back to it will be like riding a bike.  She's struggling with Sister Chromatid, who continues to make valiant efforts to remain friends, but DJ's social anxiety is putting up a wall.  I hope this doesn't permanently stunt their friendship, but I'm learning that I can't control that and DJ will definitely make other friends in time.

I have  to look to future opportunities the way my nephew, who I'll call Nannyman, does.  Instead of being fearful about losses, I have to consider that they might be the gateway to future opportunities for DJ.  So, when Nannyman quotes Michael Buble by saying (about the future) "I just haven't met you yet" I have to say that THAT is the answer to "What's next?"