Continuing the discussion from my previous post…
There may be another set of circumstances that lead up to the difficulties that some transgender people experience in the second year of being “full time”. Perhaps, and I say that only because this is my opinion and not that of anyone else…is that they continue to struggle.
For many in the trans community, sad to say, the journey they under take to become their authentic selves and transition is fraught with difficulties. They may range from simply not feeling comfortable in their new life as they adjust and weak self confidence, to a whole myriad of really nasty things. I personally know some trans people that were fired from their job when they came out at work. Unfortunately, they live in a location that does not have any protections regarding gender identity. They can be fired for simply being who they are, transgendered. And legally, they have no recourse. None, nada, zip.
For others, while they may have protections via various statutes or legislation etc, they do not have the resources to pay for a legal action. And while they may be eligible for the services of a public defender, the case load for them is overwhelming and the case is not a priority. So it would take months for anything to come to court. Of course, there is also the ever popular tactic of using another excuse to fire them so that the trans issue is not stated as a reason. So they are totally trapped. So sad, so wrong, so….sucky!!
Others have been evicted from their apartments. Again, in some jurisdictions, there are protections, in others, not so much. And the same issues with initiating legal action as stated above come into play. And that is what some sectors of society count on. So, they know they can get away with it.
Another issue involves family and friends. Transgender people are often shunned by both family and friends. They loose their support network fast and suddenly and that has to be a devastating blow, emotionally for sure! Many times it has to do with the fact that these family members and friends don’t understand what it means to have gender dysphoria and be transgender. And if they don’t understand something, it must therefore be bad and they are afraid of it. So what do they do? They disengage. Not thinking in the least how that impacts the individual.
Many times, and I speak from personal experience now, some people make it all about themselves. They are extremely concerned about how society will view them if they are seen to be supporting and accepting of a transperson in their family or in their life. “Are people going to think I am trans as well?” “Or will they think I’m gay?” These are questions going around in their heads. Of course this is totally ridiculous on the one had, but somewhat understandable on the other. Now, don’t go flying of the wall at me…just because I said it was understandable, doesn’t mean I agree with, or accept it. It just means that when you put yourself inside their heads, you can see how they got there. Typically these people refuse any assistance, access to accurate and reliable resources, etc, and choose not to educate themselves. Such a shame and totally avoidable. But it takes all kinds I guess?
So where am I going with all of this? For some people that “come out”, they face some or all of these challenges. But they initially have hope. They hope that their lives will get better in the future. They hope they will be able to rebuild their lives, some of their friends and family may come back into their lives, they will find suitable employment, etc, etc, etc. So they hold onto the hope that things will change. But low and behold, year two and they are still facing the same struggles.
They get frustrated, start to loose hope and are overwhelmed with a sense of despair. Hence the “terrible twos” strike for them. In a different way and for different reasons than discussed in my previous post. None the less, they find themselves in the same mindset.
I guess, given all this, I shouldn’t be too surprised that many transpeople do experience what I call the “terrible twos”. I am fortunate, that for me, I haven’t had that experience. At least not yet. Who knows, maybe it’s lying in wait, just around a corner, ready to pounce and totally wipe me out. So I steel myself for the possibility. However, until such time (should it ever come), I continue to go about my life, do my job, hang out with wonderful friends and just do my thing with no acknowledgement from society other than I am a woman going about my day. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a fortunate thing, but I’m rolling with it. I only wish I knew how to replicate it so that I could bestow it on all those that struggle.
What’s next….the tumultuous teenage years?? Sigh.