This is a letter that Jenny wrote to her mom
I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but it's my current reality and something that I need to deal with now or risk having my future severely ruined.
There are several facts I've been dealing with in the last little while.
Facts that cannot be ignored.
1. Very few people address me with male pronouns anymore, or if they do they quickly apologize of their own will without any encouragement from me. One thing or another about me makes them reconsider their choice of pronoun.(i.e. sir or mam).
2. In my current work place there have been two separate incidents where while using the men's washroom a guy was entering the washroom, spotted me, backed out due to uncertainty, checked the sign outside the door, and then finally came in. One went as far as to tell me he was confused because he "Couldn't tell". I now have a single use washroom at my disposal. These incidents happened exactly a week apart. Essentially I no longer feel at ease in the men's washroom.
3. I need a job but my name is no longer a male name. I do not feel that I could even begin to look for work as a man. It won't work, my credibility as a worker will be damaged since the common popular belief is that transsexual women do not present themselves in a masculine way. The cost of
changing my name back would be both extreme in time, and money (a lawyers signature, $137, plus months of waiting). It would also take a great toll on my emotional, and mental well being to go back to that other name. I'm sure it's a fine name for a man but that's not what I feel I am.
4. I can't afford to move out of your house without a second job or a replacement job that pays me enough to live on my own.. The college just does not have the hours for me to teach due to various staffing and political issues.
So as the situation looks now, I don't look like a man to most people, I don't have a man's name legally anymore, and I need to get work in order to move out on my own and start living independently. There seems to only be one logical solution to this. I need to finish my transition. It's time to
complete what I started back in year 2000 and what I've needed to do since my teens when my body suddenly entered puberty and I felt totally wrong to be experiencing it the way I was since I didn't want to be male.
One of the hardest parts of all this is that our relationship has become very strained. I'm not trying to make your life difficult. I'm trying to simply fix something about myself that I feel needs correcting. I haven't been able to find out what is bothering you about my need to fix myself since our communications on the matter have boiled down to "It's wrong", "How can you do this to me?", and "What will the neighbors say?".
I can't stop what I need to do, it's a force of nature encoded in my genes and in my brain's own structure, the research seems fairly conclusive on this. But I am trying to make this as easy as possible for those around me who have to deal with the fact that I'm not quite the person they though they knew.
I would ask that you inform yourself about what transsexualism is about before you pass judgment. Sure some of the community are complete loonies, absolutely without out a doubt. But so many more are very decent human beings who just had to make a change because they knew deep down that
something wasn't quite right with their gender.
There is going to be a family oriented information session at the Sherbourne Health Centre on Thursday 23 at 6:15 until 8:30pm (I've attached a flyer with the details). It would be an opportunity to speak with other parents who have had to deal with children who are transsexual. I would hope that
you would take the chance to get to know more about what I'm going through, and even who I am.
The alternative view is the Gender Identity Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental health (ie The Clarke). Their ideas are wrong headed in my view but I won't conceal them from you. Still even they tend to agree that transition and living full time as the opposite gender is what a transsexual person needs to do to feel whole.
I'm sorry if this all upsets you but I have tried not to let it do so.
Sometimes at the sacrifice of time that would have been better spent living in my chosen gender and just getting on with my life after the change was made. But I just can't wait any longer without destroying any hope of a future, living independently, and feeling happy to be me.