Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It ain't easy

About this time of year three years ago, I went from being a weekend girl to full time. Actually all I really did was start wearing make-up all the time and started wearing jeans and tee's with a more feminine flair to them. I was a bit nervous at first, but when everyone treated me nice with only a slight discord among them, my confidence soared and the butterflies in my stomach went away. I wrote about it in my old Y360 blog, everyone praised me and said how brave I was for being my true self. It really didn't take much courage to do something that I felt (and still feel) was a natural thing, something that I should have been able to do from birth. There are things that take much more courage to do than to "come out" or be "full time".

For weeks now I've known that it is highly unlikely that I will find a job and remain a full time girl. People in this area are not as liberated as they are in other parts of this country and abroad. They may have seen a changing world on television but they do not embrace it's change here. People tell me that it shouldn't matter how I dress as long as it is within standards and I can do the job. But when you ask someone for a job you get a different attitude entirely. It would be OK just as long as it was somewhere else. I guess they fear repercussions. I do understand.

Yesterday my truck quit on me and I had to have a friend (my only friend from pre-transition) tow it home for me. Luckily he has a car dolly. Of course that sent my depression into a spin. I know that with us living 23 miles from town and having only one poor vehicle that could quit on us at anytime, it is imperative that I get work immediately. Bills are overdue, we are in deep trouble. So, last night I made up my mind that I was going job hunting this morning as "Steven". I'd take off the make-up and nail polish. I'd wear jeans and a shirt that was as "male" as I have, and hope that my breasts didn't give away too much information.

......I am not a brave person. .....I have no courage.
This morning came and I couldn't do it. If you think that it is hard to come out to your family and friends or go full time, try going back after three years of being your true self. I still don't know what me a Patty Lou are going to do, but I can't go back.....and I feel sooo bad about it.



alan said...

I think you have a lot of courage! To go on being yourself in a world that goes out of it's way to offend and confront at what seems like every turn is the ultimate definition of courage and bravery!

A "fixer" through and through, I wish dearly I could fix this for both of you...and that truck as well!

Thinking of you both...


Keri Renault said...

I'm sorry you're backed against such a hard wall. During the depths of my darkest days--several years ago--I learned that no matter how bleak things appear today, there's always tomorrow. As long as there's tomorrow there is always hope.

Stay the course, Stephanie. Keep thinking and have faith that tomorrow will bring a better day. Something positve will happen because you'll make it so.

Sending positive thoughts your way.

Melissa said...

Stephanie, I just heard yesterday, that unemployment was 10.5% nationally! This is a hangover from the Great Recession. I think you are being a little hard on yourself, by assuming you aren't getting hired, just because you are trans. Everyone who is out of work right now is having a hard time finding a job. I really don't think Steven would have any better luck than Stephanie has had.

I know its hard, but keep finding a way to hang in there. The recession is finally over, but employment always lags behind a recovery. Eventually people will start hiring again, and when they do, you will get a job as Stephanie, not Steven.

You were laid off from your last job, not fired, so you should be eligible for some kind of unemployment compensation. Usually that will last for 36 weeks. And if Patty Lou was working when she had her accident, she should be eligible for some kind of temporary assistance. Have you checked with your county offices? Don't ever be ashamed to accept public assistance, when you need it. You've already paid for it, through years of paying taxes.

I don't blame you for not being able to go looking for a job as Steven. How could you? You aren't Steven anymore, you're Stephanie!

Melissa XX

Common Teri said...

Sorry to hear things aren't going so well. I understand too well where you are coming from with not being able to go back. It's harder that one might think, especially after three years of finally being yourself.

If my partner was out of work we would be right where you are too. I'm hurting for you Stef. Wish I could do something to help. I can't find a steady job either.

Unemployment is bad everywhere and it's just plan hard to get a job. I've also tried to convince myself that being a guy again wouldn't be all that bad but I haven't been able to go back either. I honestly don't feel we would have better luck being miserable guys again.

The jobs are just scarce but the right fit is out there somewhere. Don't lose hope and keep trying. A good job could be just around the corner.

caroline said...

Stephanie, hang in there if you can. You are stronger than I was when I hid from the world because nothing would make me look for a job as male but all help to transition was denighed so could not face the world as female and never found any employment ever again because I could not face the world as my true self.

You can and you do. Are you going to be comfortable returning to the self you left behind?

Caroline xx

Amy K. said...

I know exactly how you feel, Stephanie. I could never go back, even it might work... not even temporarily. I've been out of work for over two years now. I've decided that I have to leave the computer industry (at least for now), and take some kind of mediocre office job or secretarial position. It's not what I was trained for. It's not what I spent $18,000 and 10 months of my life trying to learn. But I would rather compromise anything than my gender identity. Hearing "sir" or "dude"... ugh, just kill me now! So yeah, I can relate. :)

Calie said...

Steph, I feel so bad for you. I never know what to expect when I read your blog. So many ups and downs. I feel your emotions down to the core and I cry with you.

Your friends posted some very good comments. As Melissa said, many are out of work right now. Life, and the economy, goes in cycles. I pray that we have hit rock bottom and I want to see that smile back on your face. I know I will. Hang in there, Steph.

Calie xxx