Monday, 12 September 2011

sic transit

Ten years on, my transition from male to female is pretty much something-I-once-did, and the main transitions on my mind these days are the ones from young to old (or (eek!) from middle-aged to old), and from occasional seafarer to illustrator. And whatever other transitions life throws at us all, of course.

There are people I know, and count as friends, who are at earlier stages of their own journeys, and with destinations uncertain. Which can be hard going, sometimes. I was just reading a blog by the wife of a MtF transitioner, which made uncomfortable reading because I recognised, in the description of the transitioning partner, some resonances with my own transition; my self-centredness, my selfishness, I suppose. I also recognised that sense of simmering resentment from the wife. I recall a friend whose partner worked hard to develop a musical career, while she supported them as best she could, paying the bills, cooking for the musos who were always around the place, trying to be positive and not feel marginalised. And after a few years, the partner said, "I've changed; I've been mixing with artistic and creative people..."

Some of us have growth spurts in our self-development. If we're lucky, anyway. If we're even luckier, our partners, if we have partners, will be developing in their own way and with a sufficient overlap of sympathies, affection, or possibly love, for the relationship to survive, or (better still) to flourish.

Some people stay together through insecurity or inertia, and put up with a large pile of personal unhappiness. Sometimes you don't recognise how unhappy you have been until it's all over, and one day you wake up and spend a while wondering what this strange feeling is that you've got, and then you recognise that you're happy. Been there.

And some people break up, and you look at them and think what a shame it was, because they seemed to be so good for each other.

No hard and fast rules. We're all on different paths, and write our own happy endings. Being trans is quite a big thing, but there are lots of other big things out there too. It's not uniquely wrong or evil to transition; it doesn't disqualify you from rights or responsibilities, any more than coming out as a musician. Say.

Good luck, everyone who's journeying or who's with someone who's journeying (which is a journey, too, of course, though possibly with someone else at the helm). I wish you well.