Throughout my life I’ve had more short-term passions than long-term pursuits, with a few exceptions. About once a week or two I would come up with something new that I was super interested in. I remember being enthralled in space exploration one day and obsessed with medieval weaponry the next. That’s how I’ve always been wired.
Some things just naturally don’t fit into the category of “hobby” or “interest,” notably sexuality and gender identity. However, that’s a hard thing to come to terms with as a parent, so it’s understandable how my folks were temporarily just going with the idea that I was a guy. Emphasis on the temporary bit.
They would eventually realize, at some point between two weeks and two years of confiding in them, that it was not a temporary thing. My dad has always been the skeptical one, and I don’t blame him at all since I’m just as skeptical about other people’s stuff and things in general. He was skeptical about anti-depressants when I was a teenager, he was skeptical about my decision to go from a computer science major to an English major, and he was pretty skeptical about the whole me being a guy thing.
To be very clear, he has always accepted me and shown me his love in the ways that make sense to him. Only in my most irrational moments did I ever interpret his skepticism as something other than the deepest concern that parents have for their children.
All in all, it made a lot of sense when I was on the eve of my name change, and again on the eve of starting hormones, and yet again on the eve of my surgery and my dad made me do a gut check just to make sure one last time.
When the gut check is coming from him, I don’t mind asking myself, and in turn reminding myself, that this is the right path for me to be on and to reflect on how much more comfortable I’ve become after each step in my transition.
And then, random people ask me what it would be like, or even worst, what it will be like when I de-transition.
I shit you not, through college I experienced more than the recommended dose of stupidity and rudeness when people would tell me that I would never pass well enough, that I would be ostracized, that I would be emasculated and broken to the point that I would willingly slink back into womanhood.
It still doesn’t even make me mad. Ok, maybe a little frustrated, but mostly it’s just hilarious. Beyond the face-palming initial reaction, I am faced with a person who is so internally conflicted about the idea that their own gender identity might be in question that they are telling me how impossible it would be for my own brand of masculinity to be accepted as natural fact.
So, no, I don’t wonder what it would be like if I de-transitioned just like I don’t think that happily cisgendered people wonder what it would be like if they transitioned. However, for the sake of pondering, my results are quite comical.
Time has a way of changing people and minds, and if me and mine change then I guess I’ll just roll with it. Hell, that’s basically what I’ve been doing so far and it’s been working out alright.
I’m getting a little tired of posting intro posts. Don’t get me wrong, I love Steph and I love our story and I think we have a lot to share with the world, individually and collectively, but the lovey dovey stuff isn’t useful beyond those feel-goody-feels.
And as helpful those feel-goody-feels are on a bad or dark day, they aren’t going to help you pass any better or have better sex with your partner or feel more safe in your life.
The company that I work for has a consistent mission to improve the quality of life for the employees as well as the whole world. Which is basically what I want to do here. It helps me improve my life and hopefully it’ll help you improve yours.
So, now that I talked the talk it’s time to walk the walk…
Introducing an inconsistent series on how meditation and buddhist philosophy can improve your mood, dull your dysphoria, and make you an all around better person.
Over the years I’ve discovered that a lot of people get pretty up-in-arms when I start talking about my experience with Buddhism. I’ve lived with Buddhist monks for a short time, I’ve spent years being celibate and relying on meditation to regulate my mood, and have delved deeply into Buddhist text and the psychology that they inspired.
There are some really important things to remember when you begin to look at Buddhism.
First, it doesn’t have to be a religion. Unlike Islam, Christianity, or Hinduism, most Buddhist sects don’t have a deity. There is no one to pray to or meditate to or however you want to frame that personal time within your own head. If you want to make a religion for yourself you are free to do so, but I don’t. For this, that, and the other reason, I’m just not into religion.
Secondly, spirituality is personal. You don’t have to be an evangelist if you don’t want to. You can meditate all you want and never tell anyone about it, or you can meditate once a week and tell everyone. Honestly, people might or might not care and either way it shouldn’t impact how you feel about meditation and your desire to understand yourself better.
Thirdly, that’s exactly what learning Buddhist philosophy and meditation is all about: understanding yourself better. Many trans people have been to therapy, it’s the nature of the beast, meditation is therapy without a second person. You learn how to ask yourself the big questions and how you can cope with the answers you give yourself. Sounds pretty meta, right?
My infomercial is almost over. I haven’t really explained exactly what you might get out of this underrated level of self exploration.
Side effects may include:
The ability to realize that dysphoria is an inward projection of perceived outward stimuli; and just like middle schoolers obsessed about how much acne they have, the only person that really notices and cares is you.
An understanding and “re-wiring” of your mind to body that allows you to perceive you naughty-bits in whichever way you want, freeing your mind and body to experience mind-blowing sex.
A general sense of calmness and perspective. Stress is less stressful when you allow yourself to think about it. Arguments with friends, family, coworkers, or significant others will be easier to resolve when you allow yourself to understand the opposing viewpoints and how every viewpoint is valid.
The ability to recognize how you feel and objectively act on it or let it pass by. This means waiting in traffic and enjoying the drive or shopping during the holiday season and enjoying the smile on a child’s face instead of getting angry; or even being able to walk into the grocery store when you are hungry and NOT buying the container of double-stuffed oreos and five bags of Lay’s barbecue chips; or more aptly, not becoming distressed or angry when someone uses the wrong name or pronoun.
Being happy with yourself exactly where you are because you know that you are doing everything you can to be happy and to be where you want to be.
If you’re interested in these benefits, then stay tuned. In the meantime, check out a few meditation resources: