Challenges That We Face

| Sep 14, 2015
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Before I started my HRT treatment and way before I transitioned, my therapist warned me that there would be challenges ahead if I decided to transition. She advised me that transitioning could lead to loss of employment and destruction of my relationships. Unfortunately she was right and I had to deal with both of these challenges.

Loss of Job

Loss of job is not uncommon for we who transition. I started work in one school as a “male” and got fired when I became too “female” for their tastes. The good news is that I was hired by another school who didn’t care if I was male or female and also by a grocery store demo company who mainly hired females. Friends of mine who have transitioned without getting fired have done so with the cooperation and prior blessing of their employers. The problem with revealing your transition to your employer is that may create a risk for your future employment there.

Loss of Family and Friends and Co-workers

Transitioning can hurt or destroy our relationship with friends and family and co-workers. The person that they think they knew sort of disappears before their eyes. I always believed that I evolved and did not really change. But, friends and family and co-workers for the most part did not see my personal growth, but in their eyes I had in fact Changed. Some assumed that I was gay and speculated about my sexuality. Others made creepy, insensitive remarks and asked disrespectful questions. My brother asked me if I was gay when I began to carry a “man bag” which he saw as a purse. My spouse thought I was crazy when I started to wear makeup everyday. Although most of my co-workers said I looked cute and pretty, some stopped speaking to me or commented on my “colorful” or “girly” clothes (for the most part at that time I wore pastel colored unisex clothes). I either ignore them, tried to educate them, and/or came out to them, sometimes more than once. Some relationships were maintained and some were hurt or destroyed in the process. It’s important to remember that it’s our journey, and it is not always easy for us to completely understand what’s happening. But sometimes it’s impossible for friends, family, and co-workers to understand what’s happening to us.Then we just have to cope the best we can.

We all deserve a real life. A pretend life is just not good enough.I have transitioned and live full time as a female. Thank God! This was at the end of a long period when I felt I could not reveal my true identity as a female. Not living honestly and “playing pretend” caused me much anxiety and emotional pain. With the help of my meds and therapy I managed to face my challenges and to live with the consequences of the changes in my lifestyle. In the end it was easier for me to live honestly as a female then to play the game of hide and seek with others — and myself. The problem is in this game of “hide and seek” we no doubt will be the emotional losers.

Things are getting better for us who are transgender even if we have to face these and other challenges. There is a lot in our media and culture that is painting our lifestyle in a positive way and educating the general population about what it means to be transgendered. Being transgender is slowly becoming more acceptable and understandable and becoming more “normal.”

In the meantime remember that the journey to living honestly is definitely worth it despite the challenges. So stay strong and stay proud.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I am a retired trans woman who lives in florida.

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