Friday, 4 May 2012

Finding My Voice

Since Thursday last week I've been working as a temp for a company called Amey.
As a new starter I was required to read their policies and discovered that they had one of the best diversity policies I've had the pleasure to read. This did not particularly surprise me as the people in my office have been really friendly and welcoming.
However, it did not seem to count for much as I struggled to find my "female voice" which prompted much soul searching: If I could do it on the telephone and in interviews (two more stressful circumstances I could not imagine!) why was I struggling so badly in such welcoming circumstances???
It wasn't even like I was trying to hide anything!
As part of my application I'd been required to submit my passport (which is still in my old identity) and, to comply with their drugs and medication policies, disclose that I was on hormones - both of which obviously outed me (not that I believed for one minute that everyone in the office hadn't already sussed it out anyway!).
And so it was that I was ready to throw in the towel yesterday. I'd lost faith in myself and was gonna go take a long walk off a short pier!
...but not until I'd gone to my singing lesson!!
So I walked in and my singing teacher asked how I was getting on and I gave her an honest answer. And so my teacher spent the first half of my lesson counselling me.
Obviously, I employ her as my singing teacher not as a counsellor and so it's to her credit that she put those duties to one side to listen to me and give me some sage advice.
So, where half an hour earlier I'd been ready to walk out on my life, I left my singing lesson ready to give it another go.
And this morning on my drive into work I was thinking of the best way to tell everyone I was trans when I started to wonder why it was so important to tell everyone I was trans??
Was them knowing I'm trans really what I wanted?
No. What I wanted was to stop worrying what people thought about me! And the only person who can make that happen is me!
So I went into work with that thought in my mind and, you know what, it paid off! I found my "female voice" more often than not and I stopped beating myself up when I didn't!
So the end result was that I finished work today far happier than I did yesterday! :-)

...You know, we people of the LGB&T community have kind of had it brainwashed into us that we must out ourselves otherwise we're being dishonest.
Well, today I realised this is too simplistic.
It is completely pointless outing yourself in the hope of avoiding a scene or having people think better of you. The purpose of outing ourselves should be to free ourselves of the worry of those things!

...So, having dwelt on it some more this evening, I hope I can have the same attitude towards my gender as I have towards my feet and legs.
After all, is my gender any less or more of a birth defect than my feet and legs? And, yet, I don't feel the need to tell people I have deformed legs and feet and worry that I am being deceitful if I don't tell them of this fact. I don't particularly care what people think about my legs and feet any more! They are what they are! They may have given me some life experiences others missed out on but they are not the be all and end all of all that I am! I am more than my feet and legs!!
And so, surely, it must be the same of my gender (and any other part of me)?? And thus follow that it would be better for me to get things in perspective and treat it as such??
Yes, I think that it would. :-)