Saturday, 6 April 2013

30th Days of Trans - Days 1 to 5

I came across 30 days of tran while reading another blog, it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a go myself.
Depending on whether I have access to the internet while in Malvern I'll either post daily or save everything up and post when I get back home to Yeovil. So here's the first 5 days.

Day 1 - When did you realize the term transgender referred to you
Tuesday 2nd April
I suppose that realizing that the term transgender referred to me is something recent, no more than a couple of years. The reason for that is that its probably only in the last couple of years that I've come across the term transgender. Previously to that if you'd asked me to describe myself I'd have used transsexual or transvestite/crossdresser depending on whether or not I'd accepted that transsexual is what I am.
If you then go back to when I first realised, if not that I should have been but, that I wished I'd been born a girl then you'd have to go back to my mid-teens when I first started to think of myself as a girl. At that time I'd never heard of any trans terms so didn't understand that I wasn't alone in feeling the way that I did, and that I could get help to correct things.

Day 2 - How did you choose your name, and what names were you thinking about using and why
Wednesday 3rd April
When I started thinking about the name I wanted to use when I transitioned I considered keeping my initials and finding girls names that would fit the initials. The J was easy as it was always going to be Jennifer so that it could be shorted to Jenny or Jen. I'd been using Jennifer online for quite some time. The W was more problematic in that there weren't that many names that would fit with Jenny or some variation of Jennifer. In the end I decided Willow or Willa would be a good choice. Willa Jen seemed to fit and sounded a lot like my old name. Then things changed.

When I took up burlesque I had to chose a name for my alter-ego. I thought about it and also asked a friend what she thought. When she came back with a suggestion I liked it and my burlesque character was properly born. Over time though I began to like her first name more and more. Eventually it got to the point where I liked it so much that I decided that I'd use it as my name when I went full time. I dropped my first initial when I completed my Deed Poll and Jenna was born.

Day 3 - Have you ever been outed
Thursday 4th April
Simply put yes but under differing circumstances.
A friend outed me to some other friends before I'd reached the point of transitioning, or even getting to the gender identity clinic.
My parents have outed me to family and friends where I grew up because its people that knew me before and who would have found out at some point. They've also unintentionally outed me by using the wrong pronouns when talking to people. In one case the person that I'd just been outed to turned around and light-heartedly told my Mum to “get it right”.

Day 4 - How did your family take it when you came out/ if you are not out why aren't you
Friday 5th April
My family's reaction to my coming out varied.
My parents were good about it. Mum told me that she'd wished I'd told them when I was younger, if I'd fully understood myself well enough back then I would have.
My son was understandably upset as you can imagine, but not for the reason that I would have expected. He was upset over the fact that he would have to learn to call me she rather than he, her rather than him.
My other half actually took the news quite calmly, which was a complete surprise as I didn't expect that.
My sister took it badly, which in part was due to the fact that I told her over the phone. I'm great at dropping bombshells like that.
My in-laws reactions weren't good but have calmed down since they found out.
One of my other half's cousins took the news well from what I can tell as I'm welcome to pop in and see her when my son and other half are visiting her Aunt.
My sister's husband was a surprise as he took the news really well. Which was pretty good as I told him that I had something to tell him and he said your having a sex change, to which I replied “Oh Ok I wont bother to tell you then.” He was apologetic for being flippant but took it well when I said “No, really, that's what I'm doing”.

Day 5 - Are you active in the trans community or LGBT community
Saturday 6th April
I'm a member of a number of online websites to do with the trans community, with the gender identity clinic I attend and at the company I work for. Other than taking part in online forums and chatting with people I'm not active within either community.
I planned to attend Bristol Pride the year before last but that didn't happen in the end. I might make it to this years if I'm actually around that weekend.
Whether not being active in either community carries on in the future I don't know.

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