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
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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.


Two years on. January 4, 2012

Filed under: home stuff,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 11:27 am
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Two years since Jane told me she has ‘gender issues’. Actually the anniversary was about a week ago… its not the sort of anniversary that I’ll ever remember the exact date of… it’s just the awful thing that happened in that crazy time between Christmas and New year two years ago.

I havn’t felt like writing about it before now becuase…. well… I needed to work out how I felt.

Two years from the man I loved to the woman I live with.

Do I still love her…. yes.

How much of that love is because she used to be the man I loved?

Nearly all of it.

Could that have been different?


There was a couple on morning telly a couple of months ago… a couple like us in many ways… staying together (although in their case the gender issues were known about i think from the start of their relationship and transition held back for the sake of children etc) but watching their body language… it was the transwoman taking care of her partner still. Aware what she’d put her partner through… comforting…. maybe even grateful.

With Jane… its hard to believe that once upon a time she was on the verge of getting therepy becuase she didn’t dare tell me in case I ran away.

But she doesn’t seem to realise the strain I’m still under…

Having a partner who transitions is like having a partner who dies… the process the partner goes through is very very similar (if not the same) as a grieving process. I can imagine if you split up and never see each other again its virtually identical.

Imagine having a partner who you are grieving except almost every day they appear….or you hear their voice…a cough… see a movement that is theirs.

It makes it very difficult to move on.

Imagine too that at the same time you are trying to support a new partner (who moved in immediately your old partner moved out) who is undergoing a huge life change and needs masses of support… needs to feel you accept and love them.. knowing you could be the only constant thing in their life.

Add to that that this means you yourself are undergoing the hugest of life changes and don’t have a partner to talk to about it.

I’m not sure if the above is overly complex…or over simplified.

I just know this has been the worst two years of my life and another anniversary hasn’t changed anything.

In some ways I wish Jane had told us and then just fucked off and done it all…. then come back as she is now and maybe met me as a ‘stranger’… maybe then there would be enough of the person I loved to love her again (without her having put me through the last two years).

I wish she could have slowed things down (I totally know why she felt she couldn’t) but I wish she had. Two feels like I’ve been avalanched into a new partner, a new life.

We’ve been together nearly nine years…. not long enough for Jane to commit to marriage… such a big life changing step after all.

But two years has been long enough to totally change the person I’d be getting married to…sorry…civilly partnerd to.

I’ve been googling around the grieving process… but nothing i can find covers my bases.

Grieving for a partner, child, parent, dog….. they all say the process just takes as long as it takes.

None of them say how much longer it will take when your partner hasn’t actually died…. just gone away for ever and you’ll never ever see them again.

Jane and I get on…. the household ticks along…. but I have a hollowness… and I still miss John.

I’ve tried so hard… I’m still trying so hard.

This isn’t about not accepting her transition… Ive supported her everystep of the way with that and there isn’t a single bit of me that thinks of her still as John.

But at the same time she’s my only reference point for my loss of him.

I don’t think she ‘gets’ it at all…. after all…I loved the man she couldn’t bear to live with.

I’ve coped by saying time after time that John and Jane are the same person…I’ve said that so many times it has to be true. And it is…. but it’s not.

Two years on and I’m tired and confused and lost.


An interesting day in London March 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 11:15 am
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We spent much of yesterday sitting in a hotel lobby drinking tea and eating biscuits.

No hardship there then.

What was slightly more challenging and interesting was meeting a writer of television dramas and a maker of documentaries….both fairly successful at what they do and both interested in making something out of Jane’s and my story.

At the moment we are all cogitating on our conversations of yesterday, but they are two projects I’m very interested in exploring further. It just feels a far more suitable way to go for me than the more immediate ‘sit on the sofa and get asked questions in front of a camera’ propositions we’ve been offered (and in the main turned down).

I like both ideas. One would be far more challenging to do than the other and both i think could potentially get under the skin of some fairly big ideas one way or another.

We’ll cogitate some more.

What was even more interesting and challenging (interesting for me and challenging for Jane) yesterday, was that one of the people we met was female and one was male.

The social interaction was riveting.

We also had Janes PR present and so at one point we had fourĀ  women sat around the coffee table. I say four….we had three and one who pretends pretty well…… (more later on that). It was a fairly rambling touchy-feelie conversation and ended in a period of gossipy finding common ground mostly between Jane and the lady involved. Jane was relaxed and animated and her usual happy self.

And then we swapped for our meeting with the male documentary maker.

A very different, a more male led meeting, very interesting and enjoyable for me until I glanced at Jane who was rather more quiet.

She had totally disengaged from what was going on, throughout the meeting she said less, was far less animated, lacked eye contact and fidgeted with her scarf…a lot… she basically went back to being the man i used to know.

That was John, socially a bit awkward, gauche in some ways: a man who looked awkward, looked away when socially interacting.

Except he used to do it with both genders and i used to excuse it as being part of his eccentricity, we often allow the highly intelligent strange behaviours in the name of eccentricity…that and i used to think he was maybe somewhere on the autistic spectrum.

So maybe before he didn’t feel comfortable with anyone…neither fish nor fowl.

At least now Jane feels comfortable with half the population…and as she becomes more comfortable in herself perhaps she can feel comfortable with the other half.



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