I’ve blogged about scrutiny and public comment aplenty since I started my transition. And I’ve had my (un)fair share of both. And then very recently it has just sort of seemed to stop. I wasn’t at the meeting when society decided I’d apparently done enough but something has definitely changed. And for a while I was probably just happy that it had. It was weeks before I even realised how well things were actually going though. And they still are.
But there’s a perversely masochistic admission to be made here. I find myself missing that scrutiny a tiny little bit. And even the unwanted commentary has a slightly nostalgic tinge to it, now that it’s mostly absent from my day.
I don’t know how to explain that to you. It’s absurd really. To sort of miss something that was usually reasonably traumatic as and when it occurred. Bizarrely that scrutiny gave me a sense of being different and perhaps as having something else entirely other to your experience. Most importantly, it eventually gave me strength. More than I ever thought I could muster.
But I was still very lucky. I genuinely believe that sort of scrutiny can make or break you. Fortunately, I became fiercely defiant and determined to make it through to the other end because of it. To buckle under the intense pressure is an equally valid option however and I fully understand just how you could. And there’s no blame attached to anyone that happens to.
These days I am mostly being responded to in what you might call my correct gender. Men act accordingly in general and women are pretty much always fully accepting. I will still always enjoy the helpful little smiles of strangers that just confirm I’m OK with them. It’s tremendously comforting to reach that acceptance. But as strange as it may seem, I slightly miss that being labelled as somewhat “Other”. I just knew exactly where I stood on that planet. And I was able to be prepared for it. Trust me, I was always ready. There’s so much more to be learned in my new world. But it’s already feeling a little nicer.