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New handle, new LJ!

Since Finn McCumhail is no more, I've changed my handle (and LiveJournal) to gebogirl .  For those who want to know, Gebo is the Nordic rune that the letter "X" comes from.  It means "gift".

I'll contine to post there about my life and all the strange things in it.

Pinocchio Girl

The world has been full of suggestions to make me "better".  I know they're trying to help, but the implication seems to be I'm not a real woman yet. 

You should grow your hair.
Shouldn't you change your name?
How much will hormones really change you?
Are you getting surgery?  Down there?

I'm living proof that genitals have nothing to do with gender, yet I wonder if the world will ever see me as real.  I love being a woman, but I will not resort to a stereotype to be seen as one.  I will not bring us down by pretending to be anything I'm not.  I will not fear, I will not hide, I will not be silenced.  I just wish the world would see me without rolling its eyes at me and saying:

You're not a real woman, you're a tranny.

To which I heard my sisters say:

I'm not a real woman, I'm a slut.
I'm not a real woman, I'm a dyke. 
I'm not a real woman, I'm a cock-tease. 
I'm not a real woman, I'm a trophy fuck.

With every success in my transition it's more obvious that I'm not becoming a woman.  Coming out of the closet doesn't make me a woman.  Going to therapy doesn't make me a woman.  Changing out my wardrobe doesn't make me a woman.  Being a sex object doesn't make me a woman.  Neither will pills, surgery or anything else.  Nothing can make me a woman because I've always been a woman.  One of a kind but still one of the girls.  As I fight my own insecurities it's comforting to know that every sensible sister has stared at Stepford Barbie and said:

You're not a real woman,
I am.

In Retrospect

I've been talking a lot about my old life and new life.  The boy and the girl.  My mask and my true face.  Finn and Dorian.  I realize that for some - or many - how I talk about my past may seem as though I despise it.  I talk about sacrifice and death and regrets.  Let me set the record straight as best I can.  I feel it's important to express how I really feel about the boy you knew. 

First of all, when I say that "Finn" was a mask I wore, I mean no disrespect to any of the people I loved as a boy.  Nerd camp, rolling d20s, getting wasted and dancing to Dropkick Murphys; those genuine moments are what made us friends.  I foolishly worried that if I veered too far from the path of normalcy I would lose all of that, so I lied to keep you.  But friends don't lie to friends, and it is for that reason that I've come out and it's why I look back on my past with guilt.  That doesn't mean I hate him.  He may have been a mask but he was still a part of me and he always will be.  It's the reality of my life and my body.  I've been given a gift that only 1 in 10,000 receive and even then there's plenty of girls who still attempt to "go stealth" and remove their past.  They drop all contact and move into another closet, trying so desperately to hide what they've gone through for fear that no one will understand.  But a lie is a lie no matter what and your real friends will always understand.

I've heard you say "Don't beat him up so much.  After all, we liked him before and we still miss him even though we're happy to meet the real you."  Understand that I'm proud of my past as a boy and all that I learned from it, but I still wish to make up for the pain I caused.  Finn is not the one who lied, I am, and I'm facing that part of my past now.  I suppose all my uses of different pronouns and names just confused the matter.  

Because of Finn I've seen both sides of the world.
I've been a man and a woman.
I've kept secrets and revealed it all.
I've walked among the holy and the unforgivable.
I've witnessed the yin and yang.
I've learned to overcome even the most insurmountable odds.
I owe Finn my life.

I understand that every action has a reaction.  In order to become "she" I must sacrifice "he" and that means Finn has to die.  But that doesn't mean I don't intend to honor and remember him.  As a writer and survivor my past will always be my greatest asset.  It's made me who I am and shaped me into what I will become.  I learned a long time ago you only have two choices in life, you can either run away or you can face it.  I for one am done running.  My past is the best thing that could have happened to me because it is what happened to me.  From the moment that doctor slapped my ass and mistakenly said "It's a boy!" my life has been the adventure I always wished for.  It just took me a couple decades to realize it.

Living Full-Time

It's been two weeks now since I started living as a woman.  "Living Full-Time" or "transitioning" as it's called in the trans circles.  It's funny, but when I used to think about what it would be like back when I was deep in the closet, I pictured a time of public crucifixion.  Perhaps not an outright stoning, but I just knew something biblical was bound to happen as soon as I stepped out the door as a girl.  But by the time I actually got around to doing it, it didn't feel strange at all.  I took to it like a duck to water and things have been going swimmingly.  As of today I am officially out at work (with the company, the store already knew) and I have their support...so long as I don't wear any skirts!  I suppose it's a small price to pay.  Skirts are pretty impractical to work in anyway.

It's difficult to sum up how much I've actually learned.  Much of it has just come by nature thanks to all the upbringing I have from women, not to mention the help I've received recently.  I have noticed the more that men accept me as a woman, the more "delicate" and "ditzy" I become in their eyes.  "You need me to get that, Sweetheart?" I'm asked while reaching for the top shelf.  "You read comics?  Which ones?"  The new customer skeptically asks.  "That's a pretty necklace," he says to my cleavage, continuing to stare as I answer.  Interestingly enough I've also come to peace with the men from my childhood.  My Papa is the only man I was close with, primarily because he never felt the need to make me a man.  He loved me exactly the same as he loved his daughter and granddaughter, making their house the most relaxing I could have growing up.  But I've realized that nobody saw this coming because I was so secretive.  If I had the guts to say that I didn't want to "be a man" I could have avoided all the crap from my father and subsequent "father figures".  They didn't intentionally set out to make me miserable, they just didn't have a full understanding of the situation.

This brings me to the most important lesson I've learned from living full-time, and it doesn't even have anything to do with the sexes.  It's quite simple, people want you to be happy.  People you don't even know.  When I walk down the street I don't worry about what people will say or think, I'm just happy to be out and free.  And you know something?  Going out with that attitude I have yet to face a single harassment in the heart of Dallas or the middle of Suburbia Plano.  Even on my  worse days when I know I'm not "passing" people still call me Miss.  Nobody flinches when I use the Women's dressing room or restroom.  And nobody asks "Are you a boy or a girl?"  Funny enough, the only people who have trouble with the pronoun and identity switch are those who knew me before.  Understandable and forgivable, so long as you're trying!

All I have to say is, just you wait until I'm on hormones!  Then you'll probably be fighting the urge to call me a crazy bitch.

Twice Blessed

This whole week I've heard so many people tell me how brave I am.  But I prefer to see it as how lucky I am. 

Friday I went out as a woman by myself for the first time, and not only did I not face any jeers or harassment, but I actually saw a few eyes check me out. 

Saturday I met other T-girls my age for the first time in my life.  I listened to their stories and struggles and successes as I shared my own and realized that, for all it's twists and turns, I envied my life the most. 

Sunday I had a wonderful night with my closest friends full of laughter and conversation and gifts of clothes and advice.  But the real shock was that people I had never met were supportive of me.

Monday I met my new Store Manager dressed as myself, and he didn't even blink or question it.  In fact, he gave me his acceptance and protection. 

Tuesday I took all of my clothes I had worn in my former life and traded them in for a new wardrobe.  Something I've dreamed of doing for as long as I can remember. 

Wednesday I faced my customers as a woman and was shocked at how smoothly the transition had gone over.  In fact, I've already begun to see the differences between my former life and the next.

Being both a writer and both sexes, I've always had a knack for figuring people out right away.  But I'm only just now beginning to figure myself out.  I don't say that with sorrow over the years wasted, but with excitement at the years to come!  To think that there's a world out there full of clothes, full of peers, full of friends who I know and who I don't know yet!  A world of love and color and life!  How blessed am I to be alive when so many others like me haven't made it.  They don't have the friends I do, the experience I do, the gifts I do.  I used to waste my time wondering why my life was the way it was.  Now I hope to give thanks for my life by sharing it with others.

When people say I'm brave, I want them to know that I didn't used to be this way.  It's only because of the love I received that I could acknowledge my worthiness.  Once I knew I was worthy I gained the strength to do what needed to be done from the cheer of those who watched me.  And now that I've arrived I have the confidence to keep going because of the guidance of others.  So as much as I'd like to take all the credit, I couldn't have done it alone.  I'm not brave, I'm just really glad to be who I am.


Finn McCumhail!

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October 2008


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