Saturday, January 25, 2014

Where to go from here

Honestly, I'd been struggling with the decision to socially transition recently because of temple marriage. It just didn't seem possible while presenting as a female, since marrying a guy would be biological same-sex marriage, and marring a female would look like same-sex marriage to everyone else. Technically the only person it would be fully okay marrying is a FtM person that also transitioned, but finding someone that's also active in the gospel and our personalities are compatible with is difficult. Not to mention I'd have to take on the male role in the temple and he'd have to take on the female role, which would just be dysphoria inducing to the extreme as I've already experienced on some level simply doing baptisms for the dead.

That being said, I'll quote what I posted on an email group a few minutes ago, because I think it's really important.

I had a good discussion with my Dad today. We were discussing how, I'm a lot like him in where we try to think things out, analyze, then try to pick the best option, and the struggle with being trans is that either way is a pretty difficult situation. If I choose not to transition, chances are hormones are still going to take a long time, and I'll be in a lot of pain/potentially suicidal where I'm at. Also there's the struggle with SSA, never meeting a female I've been able to form an emotional attachment to, and females showing attraction to my male self being one of the most triggering experiences for me. That even if I found a female I feel like I could handle a relationship with, they'd still have to be comfortable marrying someone that probably didn't serve a mission and is transgender and not that attracted to them. Once I'd be on hormones things might be a little better too, but still a struggle on some level since it's not a perfect solution and I doubt they would change my sexual orientation.

On the side of transition, there's many concerns I've mentioned before. For me the concern is also mostly that I'd like to raise kids in the gospel, but also that I would prefer to not be single my whole life, if possible. In talking to my Dad though, he was saying that he's met a some people in the medical profession that, for one reason or another, never get married in this life. They still make wonderful contributions in their professions though. Also that, for example, his aunt and uncle were wonderful aunts to them, but they couldn't have kids or adopt (for a reason he wasn't entirely sure about), and that was a really difficult struggle for them. That life is imperfect by nature, and some things will never be reconciled in this life, for one reason or another. He doesn't understand why some people have to go through very hard things (and neither do I), but the important part is that we try and make the best out of what situation we have.

So, for me, I feel like social transition makes the most sense, given these factors. Because even though I may never be able to have a temple marriage, there still may be the possibility of a civil marriage (to a girl or a guy I'm not sure, time and circumstances would tell again if possible). And since this would be a very hard situation to put kids through (having a trans mother), especially in the gospel, I may just never raise kids in this life. That's okay, I can still try and be a good aunt to my siblings kids/be a good friend to those I know/try to serve others in the way I can. Much of that depends on the reaction I do receive once I transition, I mean being in the CS field if the reaction is too negative in Utah I may consider moving to California or somewhere else where there's still good job opportunity but I feel like the culture would be a little more accepting of me. Or maybe I'd stay here and work with North Star a lot, time will tell. Much of whether I raise kids or not, well first depends on if I ever find someone that we both feel like marriage will work - temple marriage just unfortunately not being an option due to this imperfect situation. Then if I find someone, whether or not I raise kids depends largely on how I feel people react to my situation in general, and how I feel the culture in which I live feels towards transgender people. So a lot of that will be open to interpretation with time, like much of life. Once I begin more seriously socially transitioning I will attend another ward too (via my Bishop's recommendation), possibly with a friend in Ogden and I'd see what would be best there after talking with him.

At this point though, even though temple marriage is most likely not possible for me, I still need to make the best out of what I can with my life. As such, I'm going to socially transition, and maybe have a civil marriage in the future depending, and maybe a temple marriage if possible. Probably my biggest concern then becomes hormones and the finances for a therapist, since a therapist is necessary through transition I imagine. Hormones (specifically estrogen) may just be a little while, but I'll be meeting Feburary 6th with an endo that has experience with MtF hrt to help give me specifics of costs and risks and such, and with Therapy I think it'll be possible pretty much paid by myself as long as I scale back how often we meet. Then from this point forward I just gotta do good in college too, so I'll be working closely with the center for disability services so they understand how depression and anxiety attacks and such affect me related to this.

Finally, with the gospel, I think that's still where my struggles lie. I just don't see the point of a large portion of it due to my situation, but I'm not going to try and convince anyone of how I feel or try to argue any point, I still support everyone that's active in church because I know it's a positive thing for people. For now doing well in college and social transition are my priorities, and I'll continue to attend church because I'm still living at home, and maybe start reading again. I hope I'm not being too bad of an example on that point, but I think it's still where I struggle since with social transition temple marriage is pretty much is impossible, even though I'd be trying to keep commandments and such to the best of my ability. I mean I'll still serve in the Church too (like I had lockup duty two weeks ago and am on snow removal crew this week) where I can and pay my tithing because it's good to have the opportunity to serve, but where my testimony lies I'm not sure.

Anyway, that's all for today I think.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, Dani, I wish I could just reach out and give you a big hug and reassure you that it'll all work out! But I understand how trapped you feel. The church sometimes feels so inextricably tied to a strict gender binary and those traditional gender roles, that it seems like there's nowhere for people like us to fit. All I can say is to do what logic and your heart say is best for you, and trust that God won't condemn you for faithfully doing your best with the light you've received.

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    1. Thank you. I think that's where I'm at now, there's just certainly a big adventure to come.

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