Out for the First Time, and It Feels Good

As time is going on, my thoughts on transition are starting to become more and more clear.  My emotions are beginning to really display themselves, and I’m finding it easier and easier to confirm that yes, I really do want to live my life as a woman.

This weekend marked the first time I’ve ever been in public in girl-mode.  My boyfriend wanted me to meet his friends, so I said fuck it, I’ll be hours away from anyone who can possibly recognize me, why not make the most out of the situation and see how it goes?  Long story short, the experience was great.  For the most part I was comfortable with my appearance, and I really feel like a did a pretty good job of blending in with what I have to work with.  No one called me out on anything, and I didn’t really notice anyone paying particular attention to me.  The waiter at lunch Sunday even gendered me properly, which was a huge boost to my self-esteem.

I’m really starting to feel more and more comfortable presenting female, and I’m hoping it will only get better as time goes on and I get further into the process.  If I can pass well enough pre-everything for no one to really notice enough to care, maybe transitioning won’t be so bad after all.  And this weekend has finally given me the confidence to come out to a family member in the very near future, so hopefully that side of transition won’t be too bad either.

The biggest thing about this weekend, though, is how much I’ve realized I really hate being male.  I hate the clothing, I hate the body hair, I hate the voice, I hate the smells, I hate the appearances I have to keep up, and now I’m beginning to hate my genitals.  I was actually legitimately depressed by their presence this weekend, almost to the point of tears.  And this was really surprising considering I’ve never had even the inkling of a feeling like that before.  It was kind of a profound moment, and has all but solidified how I feel about the whole situation.

So yeah, this weekend was pretty eventful, and really helped me to figure some stuff out.  Hopefully what all comes out of it ends up for the best.

Dealing with Toxic Guild Members

Last night my guild went 11/14 in Siege of Orgrimmar in one night.  The night before we got our first kills on both Blakfuse and Thok.  It’s great that my guild is finally getting around to having a steady number of raid nights again, as well as a group that’s beginning to show up on a more regular basis and actually perform to the level necessary to kill new bosses.  I’m really looking forward to killing Thok again tonight and probably getting our first Paragons kill!

That being said, I’m also beginning to dread coming to raid in the back of my mind.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to raid.  I love being a tank, getting my face smashed in by bosses for three hours three times a week.  I love being a partial raid leader.  I actually like being somewhat in charge.  And for the most part, the people are great.  I love my guildies, and they’re all my family.  They may be crass, angry assholes, but they’re also kind, loyal, and caring.  They’re great to hang out with, and someone is always there for support when I need it.

The problem comes when that guild relationship becomes toxic.  For some reason, there’s been some no so good attitudes amongst the guild over the last few months, and it’s beginning to boil over.  People are yelling at each other, snapping at each other’s heels, and giving each other the silent treatment.  And that’s really what gets me not wanting to raid.  I hate seeing my friends mad at each other, especially when it seems completely arbitrary.  It ruins the fun relaxing mood of raiding and makes it more of a chore.  It drives some away and drives others to worse performance.  Getting to this stage is just all around terrible for the guild and its members in every aspect.

From past experiences, I know that this situation has one of four outcomes, and none of them are necessarily great.  The offender(s) can change, they can leave, they can be kicked, or the guild can dismantle.  Here are the pros and cons for each one.

1. The Offender(s) Change

Pros:  Everyone is happy again.  No recruitment for replacements.  Performance improves.  No loss of friends.

Cons:  The change may not last long.  People may hold grudges against the offender(s).  It’s probably only a matter of time before the problem arises again, and next time it may be harder to deal with or could cause problems before you catch it.

2. The Offender(s) are Kicked

Pros:  No more problems, and the problem can’t easily come back.  Nips the problem before it gets too bad to handle.

Cons:  More than likely will lose a friend.  A few bridges will be burned.  Recruitment is necessary.

3. The Offender(s) Leave

Pros:  No more problems.  Little to no burned bridges if leaving amicably on own accord.

Cons:  May take a long time to play out, if ever.  Recruitment is necessary.  Could lose more before you lose the problem.

4. The Guild Collapses

Pros:  No more problems.  Guild can reorganize into more cohesive groups.  A second chance at making sure this never happens again.

Cons:  No more guild.  Bridges will be burned and friends will be lost.  Some will move on, others will regroup.  Recruitment is necessary.  A bad taste is left in everyone’s mouth.

Personally, I think that of these options, #3 and #4 should pretty much never be on the table.  They are signs of poor leadership, and #4 especially should only be an option if that ship has already sunk.

The differences between #1 and #2 are more of a question of risk.  Would you rather lose your friendship, or run the risk of having the same problem down the road?  Which is more important, making sure no one’s feelings are hurt or keeping the group and guild together.  And if you do go with #1, what do you do to prevent it from happening again?

This is a really tough situation that my guild has now handled several times, and I would say we’ve done decently so far.  But this time, I’m not so sure.  I guess only time will tell whether or not I’ll be recruiting, or even being recruited.

The Ups and Downs of my Writing Ability

As can be seen from the relatively short history of this blog, I fancy myself a pretty good writer from time to time.  When I get the urge to write, I can sling short stories that can bring out anything from hearty laughter to streams of tears to chills down your spine.  When I do write, the creativity flows freely, and I can really show my thoughts and emotions in the best way possible.

But there’s a big word in there that really causes problems:  When.  My ability to write tends to come and go, and more often than not, it goes.  Like right now, I can’t for the life of me find anything to write.  My mind is a blank.  No writing prompts jump out to me, no emotions to capture, no thoughts to jot down.  Nothing.  And it’s starting to affect my ability to write blog posts, too.  I can’t for the life of me even find something as simple as a how-to that I feel needs attention.

But what’s really frustrating about it isn’t that I can’t write, but that I really want to.  I want to write stories.  My mind is about to burst with the backlog of imagination and emotion.  I want to put it all down to paper, but I simply can’t.  And it sucks to no end.

Writer’s block is a hell of a disorder.  I wish I knew what cured it.

Food, Family, and Fear

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Good food, several days off, and occasionally a vacation.  I’ve always needed the time to recharge around the end of November, too.

Unfortunately, some of those things that I loved the most about Thanksgiving and holidays in general are beginning to turn them into somewhat of a nightmare.  Being around family, especially the extended family, is beginning to become harder and harder as I start to make changes in my life.  The questions are the hardest part.  Usually they start with work, and those questions can be pretty hard to answer because of my family’s lack of technological knowledge.  Describing to my grandparents what a software engineer does is a dissertation in and of itself.  And it just gets worse as they continue.  When are you gonna cut that hair?  How often do you go to church?  Are you seeing anyone?  The awkward questions just continue to pile on, and some of them are getting worse as my cousins and sister are beginning to settle down with families.

The worst part is I really do want to tell people about what I’m going through.  I want my family to know how I feel and be there to support me through it all.  But the fear of losing that family is the keeping me from telling them.  And right now, everything that’s happening in my life is pretty much going to put me on the list for getting disowned.  My dad’s side of the family would probably be ready to expel me just for being with a guy.  My mom’s side would be a little more lenient, but could I tell my Catholic grandparents that I don’t believe in God?  What about aunts and uncles?  Cousins?  What about my own parents?  Could I even tell them?

And as I’m going through all this conundrum, some words that my mom said this weekend have really stuck with me.  “You don’t snuff your family because your family is always there for you.”  I’ve always generally tried to live by these words, but are they really true?  I mean, my family is here for me if I come on financial or physical trouble.  I’ve known that for years.  But what about psychological, emotional, or spiritual trouble?  From past experience, I’d have to say no for some parts.  I know that my dad doesn’t accept that I suffer from depression, and I’m not sure there’s anything that will change that.  I have a feeling I won’t get much help from spiritual stuff too, considering my dad has told me he blames my uncle’s poor life on a loss of faith.  And I don’t think coming out that I want to live my life as a woman will be received all to well, either.

So in the end, I’ve kind of bastardized that saying.  I’m stuck snuffing my family because, if I don’t they won’t be there for me.  I guess that’s kind of how I’m there for them, though.  I suffer through my own hidden problems in order to make them happy with what I seem to be.  Well, that’s all going to hopefully change come February, and I guess I’ll see by then if they’ll be there for the real me.