October 15, 2000

Me with my maternal grandfather in December 2000. We're standing in my parents' living room, in front of the Christmas tree. He has on a navy blue shirt and blue pants. I'm wearing a dark green suit jacket and white turtleneck.
Me with my maternal grandfather in December 2000.

Well, i just wanted to add a little to this, five months after i initially wrote it. Not a whole lot of the above has changed. All the issues are still there, and nothing has really been miraculously resolved. What has changed, however, is the desperation i was feeling above. For some reason that isn’t at all clear to me, i’m not feeling as upset about all this as i was then. I think that part of it is because my focus has shifted from fighting a Global Gender Revolution to just creating a space for myself to be genderqueer in my own daily life.

I’ve been concentrating more on just telling the people who know me so that they can (and hopefully will) change the way they see me. Whenever i tell someone else and that person thinks of me in a new light, that makes it just a little easier because someone else “knows.” As my friend Marty pointed out to me, i can’t control the perceptions of every random person i meet on the street. I hate that, but i know she’s right. What i can at least try to influence, however, are the perceptions of my friends, family, and coworkers. I’ve told most of my friends and my parents and sister. I came out to the Women’s Studies Program in the spring newsletter. I tell classes whenever i lecture to them on transgender. A few people here in Sociology know, although coming out to them is harder than telling my friends. But maybe that’s just because i’ve already told most of my friends, so that’s in the past.

And i still struggle to talk about it with my parents. They know, but bringing it up isn’t easy. But i am perfectly aware that, if i don’t talk about it with them, they aren’t going to take the effort to do so because they’re more stressed about my genderqueerness than i am.

Most of the people in Bread & Roses don’t know, either, which is a stressful situation since B&R is supposed to be “women-only” space. If i tell them, are they going to freak out and ask me to leave? I don’t think they will because i’ve been in the group for five full seasons now and (‘least as far as i can tell) they like me and we’re so desperately small right now that we need every voice we can get. But i’m not sure about that. And even if they don’t kick me out, they might freak out anyway. Which wouldn’t be particularly fun. And we’re going this summer to the Sister Singers Network festival, another “women-only” space that i worry even more about being at. At least i know the women in B&R; i’m worried that the SSN festival is going to be some atrociously anti-trans, anti-male (they had a debate over whether or not to allow men be on the stage crew during the festival), lesbian feminist-type space where there are no radical Generation X queers, in which case i will definitely have a shitty time that weekend. (Visions of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival are plodding through my head.)

So i’m struggling with the continual coming out process. But mostly my life is going on relatively uneventfully, with my biggest traumas being over getting GW to give me approval for my thesis. Having come out as genderqueer to lots of the people in my life has made things a lot easier than they were back in May when i wrote the previous entry here. I still have the Global Gender Revolution in mind; i’m just trying to start a little more close-to-home until i get my daily life figured out. Then it’s going to be watch out, world!

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