Revelations from the Internet

I have been perusing some of the things that I was researching a few months ago, about my own transgendered self and came across this passage (again) from the TransGenderCare website.  (Taken directly from that website, under the article named “What is Gender?”)

Even a few hours after birth, significant behavioral differences are noted between morphologically “normal” boys and girls. Newborn girls are much more sensitive to touch and sound than their male counterparts. Several day old girls spend about twice as long looking back at an adult face than boys, and even longer if the adult is speaking. A girl can distinguish between the cries of another infant from other extraneous noises long before a boy. Even before they can understand language, girls do better at identifying the emotional context of speech.

Conversely, during the first few weeks of infant life, boys are inattentive to the presence of an adult, whether speaking to the infant or not. However, baby boys tend to show more activity and wakefulness. At the age of several months, girls can usually distinguish between the faces of strangers and people they know—boys usually do not demonstrate this ability.

As infants grow into children, the differences seem to intensify and polarize. Girls learn to speak earlier than boys and do a better job of it. Boys want to explore areas, spaces and things, girls like to talk and listen. Boys like vigorous play in a large space where girls like more sedentary games in smaller spaces. Boys like to build, take things apart, explore mechanical aspects of things and are interested in other children only for their “use” (playmates, teammates, allies, etc.). Girls see others more as individuals—and will likely exclude a person because they’re “not nice,” and will more readily include younger children and remember each other’s names. Girls play games involving home, friendship, and emotions. Boys like rough, competitive games full of”‘zap, pow’ and villainy.” Boys will measure success by active interference with other players, preferring games where winning and losing is clearly defined. In contrast, girl play involves taking turns, cooperation and indirect competition. Tag is a typical boy’s game, hopscotch is a girl’s game.

As we grow into adults, these differences become both more subtle and entrenched.

Female brained individuals are naturally socialized, tend to prefer cooperation, group discussions and compromise, but are rigid rule followers. Male brained individuals need to be forced into a social conscience, see everything as winning or losing, and are very territorial (my idea, my place, my person, etc.). Competitive and keenly aware of their place in the pecking order, males view rules as something to avoid, ignore or use against others. (The legal profession is very male.)

Female brained individuals are very aware of emotional states, both in themselves and others, and have a gift for, and need to express themselves in language. These two needs/abilities combine so that there is a great deal of discussion and description of everyday things (food, experiences, involvements and other people) with an emotional context and value judgment.

Male brained individuals have great difficulty identifying emotional states of any kind beyond anger, fear and lust, either in themselves or others. Language tends to be restricted and used sparingly, and hardly ever to describe emotional states. But male brains do have superior spatial and non-verbal skills, such as mathematics, map reading, 3-D conceptions, and with increasing intelligence, abstractions.

In fact, for reasons not understood (at least by this writer), gender differences seem to decrease as our IQ points increase. One study indicated that one-third of physical females in graduate school had brains wired more like a typical male brain.

Transgendered folk tend to be born with a female brain gender, but shortly after eight years of age begin to forsake it for a makeshift male brain type of response. It is like abandoning a four-lane highway and taking a little dirt road beside it — and making the best of their choice. Why do such a thing? To fit in. Around eight or nine years of age, the differences between male and female behavior become obvious. In order to fit in, the physical male with a female brain begins to mimic and then perfect (as much as they can) a male response, leaving their natural female self unexpressed or underdeveloped.

Some transgendered physical males are very good at this subterfuge and produce a flawless macho male persona. Others are less successful, and some produce a “Swiss cheese” persona where glimpses or whole chunks of their natural female thinking showing through. But, no matter how efficient an individual is in hiding their natural gender from others, they will always be aware (at least at times and to some degree) of it themselves.

This is exactly what I remember experiencing oh so many years ago!  These things happened to me!  I started walking and talking at 6 months!  I was reading Dr. Seuss by age 1, and much quicker than my sisters read them to me.  I remember trying to piece it all together, and looking back all those years ago, I can clearly see all of those things truly have happened to me.

In order to fit in better with my male counterparts, I had created this “Robby” persona and managed to acclimate and assimilate into what adults wanted a “little boy” to be:  a small male person.  It never occurred to me, until rereading this article, that having friends was mostly about having younger friends, friends who had either slightly older or younger sisters, playing house/dress up/tea party and playing typical male games like flag football, kickball, tag, dodgeball.  I also remember playing hopscotch and four-square and wearing makeup because I liked those activities.

When I came to grips with my perceived identity, in junior high school, I realized it was all for naught!  A friend of mine (who I was secretly seeing) was gay and had been in the process of writing a play.  It was unfinished, but I encouraged him to finish it (after one of our secret intimate encounters).  I offered him my writing skills, though they were mostly undeveloped.  We finished the play that evening; rewrites lasted for another month.

Once we felt it was finished, we approached one of our English teachers (who also doubled as the school’s drama coach and play director).  She looked at the play written on loose leaf pages.  She told us she needed to look it over and ask the other staff about it.  From the look in her eyes and upon her face, she loved it!  Almost two months passed and we got the confirmation!

All we needed was a small cast, about 10 people.  Three or four sets and set dressing; then costumes.  I had relatively long hair then and my friend asked me to play the lead.  I couldn’t help not to; the part was written for M, but he couldn’t go on because of his stage fright.  M was a wonderful friend.  The play was about his latest suicide attempt, the fact of his being homosexual, and ‘what if I had killed myself’ proposal.  It was only supposed to be for one evening, it ran for three evenings!

I was in the opening show.  I spoke my parts; eventually, had to physically shave part of my head on stage, and act like I had slit my throat with a straight razor (the same one I used to shave my head).  The way it was written was just beautiful!  My character collapsed back onto his bed as the lights on stage changed from blue to red.  I dropped my handful of hair after I calmed down on the bed.  Then some pounding at my bedroom door.  Some shouting and wood breaking!  Then over came my father and mother to the bed and as the lights on stage faded to black, my mother screamed:  “Oh, God!  NO!  No.”

The next scene was played out in our living room and all that you saw was grief and sadness on my family’s faces, a casket and me, scurrying around, trying to talk to the people I loved, but left behind.  Another scene in my bedroom and my parents and brother were in there, talking amongst themselves and wondering where they all went wrong.  I was not to be seen, but I was heard.  I talked to all of them, a disembodied voice from beyond, and for once, they all listened.  I told them that my passing was not their fault and that I was the one who took the easy way out; that I was sorry.

The scene came up to a hospital room, mom was on the gurney and dad was wearing scrubs.  They were so excited when the doctor brought in their new baby.  I was in the scene and I just looked on as they brought a little life into the world.  She would have been my sister.  When the doctor left and the nurse came in, the scene stopped.  I addressed the audience and said:  “If I hadn’t taken my life a year ago, I would have been the proudest brother my sister would ever know.”  There was a pause, “I never knew.”  Pause.  “All this grief, sorrow, melancholy…  All this, was my fault.”  The lights faded to black.

We waited as the curtains came down.  We had a standing ovation!  All of us came out and the curtains were pulled up.  We bowed and I pointed to M.  It was his brainchild!  They loved it!

My understudy pulled off the next two shows, except I did the beyond voice and the ending monologue.  Each night an ovation.  I just never really knew what it was to act convincingly, and I found my calling!

Our English teacher had us perform “The Taming of the Shrew” in true Shakespearean form:  all women’s parts were played by the guys.  I landed Kate’s part.  Dressing in her costume felt absolutely right!  I wore a headband covering my head (my hair hadn’t quite filled in yet).  This one was also well received.  We were applauded, but no standing O.

I wanted to keep up acting, but graduation was looming.  High school, here I come~!

I guess I needed that boost of confidence to allow me to reflect on something that had bothered me for years:  what I could actually call my gender?  I didn’t really know, but I figured I was bisexual.  That wasn’t it, but I had to make due.  (Much of this is in some of my earlier blogs…  Please peruse.)

To get to where I am now and the article blurb…  I remembered acting the part of a typical male and doing quite well at it, even to the point of having girlfriends.  It all seemed artificial.  Rereading the article made me realize that I am just a person whose brain and identity are female, and whose body is male.  I refuse to remain like this much longer!

I scored well on tests and exams, mostly without studying, somehow I managed it!  In college, same kind of thing:  attend lectures, take notes, no studying before the tests, acing the tests and exams.

I reached a turning point in my life and found I could no longer concentrate, started on tangents that had no bearing on the discussions, and revealed to the world of academia that I was a fraud~!  I failed acting the part of a college student.  I failed acting the part of a knowledgeable person who knew his way around…  It was all stupid of me to do, but I was determined to proceed the way I needed to~!

Hence, my research and my dilemma.  I am a transgender.  I am approaching my final turning around point, failing that, I remain male!  I am looking ever so forward to this journey!  I am up to the challenge like I’ve never had before!

Welcome Robynn Penelope to the World Stage!  I am here!  Watch me LIVE!

Being Normal in an Abnormal World

This statement goes without saying.  We live in a bubbling mass of different people, each with his and her own objectives and likes and dislikes, enough to know that there are things that are taboo in many of the world’s stages.  Something here in the US is taboo in the Middle East.  Something in the Middle East is taboo in Japan.  Something in Japan is taboo in Russia.  And on and on and on…

The World Stage.  This is the measure we are ruled by:  not just those in our own countries, but by those of other countries and societies.  The United Nations is a governmental body housed and peopled by members of many of the so-called civilized nations of the world, working together for a common goal:  peace and prosperity for all mankind!  Much of the time, it’s mired and stuck in decades past accomplishments or recent global losses of member nations or the senseless violence that distort the media outlets into rumor mills or worse.

We are already part of that when we are born into this World Stage.  We grow up and interact with everything from cellphones and internet-ready devices, to computers, laptops, palmtops, netbooks and tablets!  We use this technology to talk to people whom we want to have as friends, only to find out that those people are just the uninformed, technologically-impaired, self-absorbed and you want to unfriend them as quickly as you can.  You find the device or app you’re using doesn’t allow that– there’s no [IGNORE] button on Facebook, there’s no [DUMP] button for your e-mail account, there’s no [UNPLUG] button on your RSS feeds– and that’s just one part of the whole!

All too often I observe young mothers and fathers with small children handing them their cellphones (like iPhones or Samsung Galaxys and the ilk), and letting them play games or watch Barney or Spongebob or The Wiggles on them.  Letting them watch for hours as they get their mobile chores done, picking them up into their car seats and dropping them to their feet to walk along, still clutching the tiny colorful screens, listening to “I’m Barney!  Let’s play!” and still trying to maintain some semblance of a ‘normal life’ with children!

I have two lovely wonderful boys.  Their mother and I mutually adopted them to a loving family in Boston!  I want to make a point:  I know what joy it is to have children.  The pain of minor complications with a caesarean section.  Holding them for the first time and hoping (and praying) you’re doing it the right way!  Bonding with them and crying because of the love you’re giving them, knowing they’re going to be well taken care of!  I am human; there’s nothing going to ever change that!

We’re all bombarded with mass media, multimedia (the television is exactly that!!!) and other locations of news or so-called news, reporting whatever they feel is right and what people need to know!  We feel obligated to tell you everything that’s happening in the world so that you can make an informed decision about what to do today, to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner, clothes to wear, shoes to buy, car to drive, wife to love, number of children to have, type of job, and on and on and on…  (Doesn’t your brain hurt from all that drivel?)

Anyway, I’m off track here somewhere…

To get back on track:  We’re all a part of the Human Race, placed upon the World Stage, given lines that seem oh so unique, automatic and meaningful, and stuck in relationships that seem to revolve around something frivolous.  Only when you realize you can change parts of this, is when you can truly become your own version of NORMAL, and the world you live in is the stranger!

You’re no longer the weird one!  You’re being normal in an abnormal world!

Congratulations!  You’ve finally accomplished that which you wanted to do for such a long time:  YOU WON!

 

Not Sure What to Say…

Just not sure what to say but here it goes!

I’m leaning toward beginning my trek and finding myself homeless at the same time.  My former fiancee (now roommate) thinks that I no longer feel the same way I did when I met her 13 years ago, which isn’t true.  I love her.  She’s been a survivor of Stage 4 Breast Cancer, a smudge of bone cancer on her T7 vertebrae, an enlarged polyp just inside her rectum (that the surgeon lied about completely removing >_<) and just had some moles removed to check for melanoma.  She’s one hell of a fighter and I commend her for it.

I want to be there for her for the rest of her life, however long that may be, but as soon as I begin my transition from ‘the man she fell in love with’ to the female I know I should have been, she’ll shut me out and never let me in.  I’m torn, but ultimately she wants me happy, and I want her happy.

I have a strange friend who lives with his mother.  She and he are pretty compatible, but he can be really strange…  He works as a security guard and prefers night shift work and overnights, but that leaves him zero time for social calls and other such fun.  I want to get back into my goth mode, like I had in high school, but with a little different style for me…  LOL  I will not invite him because he’s really indifferent about what I’m doing…  Not really where a friend should be, but he’s a decent enough friend to assist me with my computer work.

I have another friend who is more sensitive to my needs and dreams, and he’s a great guy.  He’s bi and he’s been a really good friend through it all so far.  His mom is also a friend of mine and understands my point of view; she has a gay brother and he’s pretty cool (so is his partner).  I can’t stay there for long, and can’t store my stuff there either…  It kind of bites, that, but I can completely understand.  She doesn’t want to be responsible for my stuff turning up damaged or missing.  That’s something we can both live with!

Two of my three sisters know of my plans.  B and T and pretty cool about it all.  I can’t stay with B because there’s no extra room.  T lives in a travel trailer, and there’s no room for me and my things, but she’s moving to Wisconsin soon. She said that if all happens where I have to go, I can stay with her in Wisconsin and make my journey happen.  I’d love to, but I want to make sure I can get SSD (for my mental illness) and Medicaid to help me with any other expenses like meds, hormones, and serum testing.  It’s something that’s been puzzling me now for a while…  [I have Type II Diabetes and I have to monitor it to keep it in the proper range.]

My third sister, C, is not on board because I have yet to tell her.  Her youngest daughter, Syl, lives in Oregon.  She just got married to a nice young man.  C and her husband Ty never went to be there. C just up and decided that she and Ty couldn’t go because of Ty’s back problems; he never knew and was very angry when C told him.  That’s his baby girl!  You don’t put yourself, and your feelings, before something as wonderful and beautiful as your youngest getting married! Never!  I would have divorced C if I was Ty, but that’s not going to make the fact I missed out on Syl’s wedding any easier…

I have told Syl, and Jess (T’s oldest).  They’re on board.  They think it’s wonderful that I’ve finally found myself.  “… in whatever form you choose … [we] will always love you.”  My other niece, Bon, is C’s oldest from another encounter when I was quite small, and she’s only a few years younger than me…  I told her and she was happy I finally found where I needed to be with my life.  She want to see me, too.  Bon’s the niece that T’s going to visit once she’s in Wisconsin, then onto getting her own place.  (And if all goes well enough for me to get there, I’ll be there too.)

I do have another out-of-state option.  I met another M2F transgender in Iowa through a transgender dating site.  She’s wonderful.  Mi and I are just like two beautiful butterflies in a field of wildflowers, fluttering back and forth in the breeze, from flower to flower…  She and I have a lot in common and we really get along well.  She reminds me of another gal pal I have, looks and all, but a bit older than she is.  Feli is that friend Mi reminds me of.  (I don’t associate with Feli much anymore, our circles no longer coincide and she’s been keeping to herself.  Mostly.)  Mi has been working on her house for her mother, remodeling it, but I’m not privy to the exact nature of the modifications…  It’s not my decision anyway, and I completely understand about those things.  We’ve talked at length about what makes us who we are, our differences, and our lives together.  I know that there’s hints and mentions of marriage here and there; how we truly feel about each other, but marriage is something I will consider once we’ve been together for quite some time and living under the same roof.  I feel I want to carry this on slowly.  I do love my Mi, and she me, but we need to acclimate to each other…  I think we’ll both come around and be inseparable together.

Then there’s Ria.  She’s a friend of mine who has been with my strange friend and nearly married to him.  She parted from him because of his hang-up with being in his mother’s house.  She never really understood why he kept putting off getting into the military, but he told me he has ‘testing anxiety’.  I got over that at an early age!  I just made sure I completed any test as quickly and as correctly as I could, and knowing the answers to the questions at hand was always a winning combination!

I just hated when some of my teachers decided to take it upon themselves to claim I was cheating, lambaste me before the class, send me to the principal’s office and call my dad.  My dad was someone that was NOT to be messed with, not even through his son!  I went home and told my dad about this one teacher who humiliated me in front of the class.  He took me to school the next day, and went to the principal’s office.  He told me to wait in the outer office.  He went right in and started talking to the principal.  She was a little scary, but she was wonderful!

I was told to go to class like it was a normal day.  They’d be coming in time for my math class and observe from the hallway.  (We had large windows that faced into the hallway for every class in the old building.  They were just out of sight and looking in…  I never really knew they were there until Mrs. Pomeraning started in on me again!)  They walked up, and Mrs. Behm (the principal) asked the rest of the class to wait out in the hall.  They all left but me, Mrs. Behm, Dad and Mrs. P.  Mrs. Behm demanded I take another test.  It was a mathematics times table quiz.  She had several pre-made and handed me another one.

Mrs. Behm told me to complete it as fast as I could.  She held a stopwatch and said “Go!”  I started.  It took me all of about a minute and 10 seconds to finish the page of 30 problems.  As soon as I set my pencil down, Mrs. Behm said she was astonished how quickly I did.  My dad knew and was also impressed.  Mrs. P. insisted I had cheated.  Mrs. Behm asked me to empty out my pockets and empty my desk.  I did  and there was nothing to be found.  Not even any writing on my hands!  My father got a formal apology from Mrs. P., Mrs. Behm and the school board.  I was told I did not have to take these tests, but if “… this young man wants to, let him …”  Mrs. Behm was fair and just.  She made me feel so much better because of this humiliation I suffered was now put to rest.  I was only 7; this was 2nd Grade!  Mrs. P. had a problem with me and I never knew…  Guess I never will…

I want this to be as seamless as possible, but I know this will not be.  I’d rather spend my time blogging, writing and coding my next video game masterpiece than fighting with a societal norm that’s anything but!  If more children were NOT lumped into society’s binary gender caste, and allowed to choose their own destiny and gender role, we’d have more children who would not be haters, bigots and supremacists, IMHO.  If little Mikey wants to be a girl, let him.  If little Sarah wants to be a boy, let her.  It’s all about not making choices for them, but for them to make the choices!

That maths fiasco I endured was just one of many things that know-it-alls tend to do:  distort the truth to fit their own needs.  I’m not that way and never want to be that way.  I know I know not everything, but I want to learn those things I feel fulfill my curiosity and need for knowledge.  I know I know not all that happens in the world, but I know I can learn that which I choose to learn.  If teachers take into account that they’re students learn at their own paces, are interested in many different things, and can teach to those students’ strengths, then those teachers have truly accomplished something:  learning children!  An open mind is a learning mind; a closed mind is a belligerent, rebellious mind!  It all starts at home!

Where was I?!  ROFL

Anyway, I know there’s a bunch of things that need to be taken care of too.  I am willing to do what I need to do to make that change and turn the corner…  I change of scenery may be exactly what the doctor (or endocrinologist) orders, but I’m up to that challenge.  I just have to find the right location where I can ultimately feel safe and not intruded upon, and yet feel that I could be expressive and work it all out.

Let’s all be a little more knowledgeable out there.  A little safer.  A little more personable to those whom you don’t quite understand, but are willing to assist.  That’s where it all starts:  One Good Deed!  Let it Begin!

Hugs & Kisses,
~Robynn

Open Letter to a SO that’s Not Supportive

During a tirade with my former SO, I decided that my anger and anti-SO sentiment needed to be quelled.  I wrote this as a way to get the pain and the heartache out.  In its entirety, it’s here.   I do understand that not everything in this letter may pertain to your situation, and some SOs are more forgiving than others, so be that as it may, this letter represents the notion of allowing an out through peaceful means, and is not intended or construed to be markedly evil and callus.

Thank you for your perusal…  Here’s the letter.

—–

Dear <name>;

I came out to you because of the history we share together, through all of the trials and tribulations, the heartaches and pain, but I felt that I was never truthful to you.  Not after all of these years with your health scares and surgeries to eliminate those tumors and such that were taking away your life.

I was there, completely for you, driving you to and from your appointments, to and from your check ups, to and from hospital visits, never leaving your side (unless I had to because of a surgery).  I never left the waiting room; I stayed put until you came back to me.

I love you with every fiber in my being and when you tell me that I don’t and that you could never love me the way I need to be, to correct the problems I face and to support me in my greatest time of need, how selfish are you now to push me aside and tell me I’m nothing more than “confused”.

I must deal with these problems, as they come, no matter how they come.  I wanted you to help me through this as I did for you.  You tell me that If I loved you, I wouldn’t.  How dare you tell me that!  You never knew the depressions and hurt I’ve caused, the lies I told because I had to act a certain way, because of how society branded me!  I nearly died that last time I tried to commit suicide and you brought me back:  for that I gained a little more respect for you in my time of need.

Now that I’ve decided that I need to go through my life, living as I need to, not as society branded me, I feel that you do love me, but cannot come to grips with this life-changing decision.  It not just changes you life, it changes mine, too, and without your support, I want to crawl into a hole and die!  It’s as if you hate me for being honest with you.  Not only does that hurt, it makes me feel that you never respected me, never really loved me, and you’re tied to the notion that people are either “male” or “female” because of their genitalia!

You won’t cope with with my dilemmas of mind and soul.  You refuse to see it from my point of view; if the tables were turned, I see it for what it was, and not for what I wanted it to remain.  I lost you as a confidant, a friend, a care-giver, a mutual ally, and someone I truly respected.  Because you refuse to see it any other way, and have threatened to have me thrown out of the house, I feel we have nothing else to say!  I am making a stand for my sexuality, and my life, and you can take it or leave it.  This has never been your decision, it has always been mine, alone.  I wanted to be able to tell the <gender> I love that I wanted to do this, explain in great detail what was going through my mind, and the research that led up to this point, but alas, that’s just not to be!

I thought I had your respect.  I thought, at the very least, you’d  lend me some moral and emotional support.  You don’t even want to do that, because of you falling in love with a <writer’s gender>.  You make it so difficult for me to, even now with your tirades and yelling, to respect you and to love you; things I never want to give up.  You’ve given up on me as soon as I told you what I wanted to do, and you slammed the door in my face, kicked me to the curb and denied even our friendship, all because you want me to live the lie!

I can’t do that anymore!  You mean more to me than Life itself!  By saying these cruel and ignorant things only makes me wonder  just what kind of <gender> you truly are!  If you were anything like the <gender> I fell in love with so many years ago, you’d respect me and love me:  no matter what I looked like!

I don’t know where to go.  I have no living relatives locally.  I need to find shelter in order to make my way in society as best I can, in the direction I am going.  I really want this, and by yelling and screaming at me, and crying to tell me all of those wonderful, but cruel, things is just making me want to jump off the planet, never to be found!

I don’t know where to end this.  I loved you for oh so long and now you’re turning your back on me.  What should I do?  I’m going to start on my path– the only one I can take– and start anew, with renewed self-confidence and love.  I’ll find someone who will respect me for who I am, and not what my society dictated what my gender is.

 

With all my love,

~Robynn

—–

I signed the letter, just because this could be considered a “Dear John” or “Dear Jane” letter, and wanted it to show that I still have affection for my SO, though she refuses to agree with my methods and decision.

 

I love you all.