Permission to transition

As I struggled with the decision to transition, I looked for someone, anyone, to give me permission to transition.

I wanted my wife to give me permission. I wanted my doctor to give me permission. I wanted my counselor to give me permission. I wanted my friends to give me permission. I wanted the trans people I communicated with on the Internet to give me permission. I wanted medical science to have a test to prove I was trans and give me the permission I desperately sought. I wanted the facts to prove beyond a reasonable doubt transition was the thing I needed to do to feel whole and the permission it would have given me.

How much easier it would have been!

Instead, I shirked responsibility for myself and attempted to offload it onto the people around me. It was a form of dissociative mania that gripped me. It was a desire to look away from the truth of myself and not have to take responsibility for myself. I was the person trimming hedges with a lawnmower who slipped and cut my arm off and then complained the label never said to do that.

In the end, my abdication of responsibility made things worse. One of the most truthful things my ex ever said to me was, “You’re not owning this and it’s making our lives hell,” as I again sought her permission to do what I knew I’d eventually do way back when I was fourteen.

It was as if I’d asked, “Excuse me, I’ve had this lifelong dream that has left me emotionally crippled because I haven’t been able to pursue it. Is it okay if I do it now?”

What madness!

When I owned it, when I gave myself permission, a switch flipped. My ex was still not happy about the whole thing but she no longer spat daggers at me all the time. I felt calmer. I had a plan and a future instead of the foggy, pink cloud high I was chasing with ever diminishing returns.

If it helps, I give you permission to transition. But it’s not mine to give.

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About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in coming out, gender transition, observations, personal history, self-acceptance, transgender, transition and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Permission to transition

  1. Lesboi says:

    I’m right there with you. I wanted my partner to give me permission or at least tell me everything would be ok if I transitioned. Never happened and, like you said, it wasn’t hers to give. It helped me grow up some though to have to make this huge decision by myself (I’m in my 50s) but it sure would have been nice to have my best friend and partner to talk to and bounce ideas off of.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that says it all. I wrote a blog, Just Own It. I later gave a workshop at First Event in January on the same. It was well received and inspired one transman to become an advocate. I know for me, when I took ownership of who I was and stopped looking for permission, it was extremely liberating.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Connie Dee Ingalls says:

    Permission, to me, implies that I’m allowed to try (conditional). I prefer to think I have been given license to be (unconditional). Either way, it has to have come from myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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