changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

throwing it all away January 28, 2012

Filed under: home stuff,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 7:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

Jane just wrote a post about the trans taboo of ‘before and after’ photographs which is interesting becuase a couple of days ago I rediscovered an old flickr account i havn’t used in ages. The are pictures going back eight or nine years – it’s where i kept my online pics before i joined facebook.

In there were four, maybe five pictures of John (remember? that podgy respectable looking bloke i fell in love with). I moved a load of photos over to facebook into my family album but then went to Jane and asked if she wanted to be tagged in them. I didn’t think she would. But it seemed worth checking.

She does have photographs of John on her facebook…. there’s a series of transitional photos over the course of the first year. From John to Jane with nipples that needed hiding for the sake of facebook sensitivities. It’s there as a record… as a documentation.

But being tagged in personal photos is a no-no… I can understand that.

I’ve read the comments on her blog and they are definitely split between those who say they are happy in their skins and the person they were is a part of their history that has a valid place and those who see trans as a birth defect, something so hideous they wish there to be no record…no history…no trail back.

I guess the same sort of split there is in adoptees…. those happy to engage with their backstory becuase it is part of who they are… and those who reject it outright.

I’m not making a value judgement either way…well… I am.. becuase I know which I would do in both cases. I’d run it like I run the rest of my life -upfront and in the open… who I am is what you get.

As Doctor Seuss said-

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

But I also wonder if the trans split is anything to do with having family, children etc?

I know there are families who reject the trans in their midst… there are also trans individuals who walk away from their families in order to… I dunno… do it in peace…. totally go stealth.

I always thought Jane would stick with her past…. we’re here and not all of us are queer..ahem…sorry… but we are here. The boy still alternates between Dad and Jane (but interestingly mostly Jane whilst out) whilst Jane’s daughter as far as I can tell just uses dad…. so no chance of total stealth… except when away from home.

It does make me wonder if we are becoming a dirty secret in some circles she mixes in…. but hey ho.

So, i think what I’m bimbling round to, in a round about waffly way, is although I understand Jane not wanting to be tagged on old photos it still feels like a rejection of her past…. and in rejecting her past she throws away part of mine (again!)…. its not like she said ‘don’t put them up’…. but it makes me sad that she dislikes who she was so much becuase I loved that person.

I know, I know its the nature of the beast that is gender dysphoria…. but when someone you love felt like a part of you a rejection of them is a rejection of you. Its felt like that all through transition… every insult and rejection thrown at Jane hurt me too. Thats why I’ve stood between her and trouble on occassion… and now…. towards the end of the line. Its Jane’s rejection of self that hurts the most.

I don’t think anyone should ever totally reject their past and throw it all away… your past is not just your own but belongs to everyone close to you who loves you.

the boy, the cat and John.


4 Responses to “throwing it all away”

  1. Wonderer Says:

    I noticed those appear on your Facebook and did wonder what Jane might think.

    I tend to agree with you (though of course I’veno idea how I’d feel if I were an “insider”) but I do tend to agree that one’s past is part of oneself, and to deny it seems … incomplete. Doesn’t mean you need to broadcast personal details to all and sundry, but – when appropraite in the context of a particular discoure or dialogue – it would seem less than open not to talk about life prior to change, as though one was born as a woman of 50-odd.

    I suppose it’s a subtle matter, depending on context and levels of disclosure,and appropriateness for a particular audience. If I were consulting a pharmacist who was a complete stranger I’d be happy to disclose all sorts of medical stuff (medications past and present, illnesses past and present, surgical history) which I might not tell others who are closer but to whom it is less relevant.

    When it comes to the Inetnet and tagging photos on Facebook, you have a large and very mixed and possibly fluid audience, with multiple levels of intimacy and personal diosclosure, and what may feel right to tell some may not be right for others.

    Hope you’re doing well …


  2. debz maher Says:

    thank you for that andrea – made me think really hard – the photo is lovely and is a part of all of your pasts. we all change as we grow older – some more than others!! and i suspect we all reject a part of our younger selves tho not with the all encompassing thoroughness that jane has. you hold that picture in your head and in your heart and take pleasure from what was there and try and take pleasure in the sometimes painful (sometimes hilarious) journey that happened in the last year or two. i cant in all honesty say that i understand how you feel – because i cant possibly, but i empathise with feelings of rejection and the unspoken ‘ was it something i did’ and i empathise with the sense of loss that is obvious in your blog! great big hugs! and i am still here! honest i am!!

  3. Ariel Says:

    I’m one of the birth defect people (as you read). But that doesn’t mean I deny my past. I was still a human being while I was living with that birth defect, and it’s not like my whole life before was poison. But I am very discreet about my past. As I wrote, it’s mine, and the way I remember it is the way it shall be. I haven’t destroyed pictures, and I will always share my past with my partner, but I see no reason to share it with others, some of whom already have memories of me that are problematic (because they’re accurate on the surface but inaccurate in essence), and most of whom do not know that I was treated successfully for a birth defect.

  4. Evan Says:

    Love between Parent and Child surpasses physical appearance, they most appreciate your honesty in your relationship with them. I believe Jane/John will always fulfil the role of dearly loved Parent and it is a credit to both of you are the loving Parents to two children. I am certain that they will observed that Jane is a happier content person than John was.
    I don’t hold any religious views, however, I am certain they all espouse the value of being true to yourself and then you are a more honest caring person in your life. I think this show through with Jane’s posting’s on Facebook, postings that show compassion to ‘ trans individuals’ and an understanding politic of her new physical identity.

    Keep on keeping on

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