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Chameleon Karma

One of the harder parts of coming out to family, friends, and even the woman who greets us at the door every Sunday morning at Wal-Mart, is explaining away the deep and abiding skepticism. “Well, I certainly never saw anything!” True, true… but all that really means is that I was doing really well at my primary focus; hiding who I really was. Most times it was so deep down in there I was able to fool myself for years at a time. Remember as well that it’s not like people ever look at a little “boy” and say, “hmmm… I have to wonder, are they really a girl inside?” This certainly makes it easier for us, at least for a while.

People place great importance on their ability to detect profound differences in other humans around them. I’m sure it’s hardwired as a evolutionary advantage to protect ourselves and loved ones from malevolent predators like pedophiles, serial killers, and of course the ubiquitous aliens among us. Somewhere along the way most individuals let this kind of ‘Spidy sense’ atrophy because we have people for that now. Just like the 1% lost the advantageous skill of cleaning the toilet; they have illegal aliens who can do it. A rigorous deportation program means they can exchanged for new ones so you don’t even have to feed them. The point of course is that most people assume others are like them, especially if they look the part. It shouldn’t be a super shocker then that they couldn’t tell.

The reality is that if I can hide it from me, I can hide it from you. People still feel tricked and betrayed, or that if they weren’t able to tell, you might just be making this whole thing up. I totally understand not liking to be fooled, but when you think about it, how much of a horses ass do I feel like? I live in this body, and it wasn’t until I put all the pieces of evidence together on the cork board that I had a, “shit, that was Keyser Soze!” moment. It was really, really obvious in hindsight, but until the magic moment it was like looking at one of those maddening pictures you can see a sailboat in or something if you focus just right. Worse in my case, because someone actually told me 10 years ago and I was still able to let the information skim off my brain like a frictionless surface, only to be buried in my subconscious for a decade.

If we can’t admit we are trans, we can’t tell anyone. As for the indicative behavior, I’m always surprised when people are surprised we hid all that for so long. Really, they are sometimes. The reason of course is that the cross-dressing and thoughts, etc are things we are deeply embarrassed about and in many cases  would rather die than have someone find out. When the most powerful form of insult one can throw at a man is that he may be even a tiny bit ladylike, no one is in a hurry to fess up they know their shoe and bra size, the differences between woman’s, misses, and juniors, and how to put on pantyhose without getting a run. I saw a movie recently where one cop insulted the other by saying the sound of his pee hitting the side of the urinal was a little bit feminine. OK, that is pretty funny, but you see where I’m going.

Our ability to hide and blend for years and decades is excellent for getting by during that period, but like all things, it must be paid for. Most of us find that out when karma comes due when we start to transition. First come the examples of everything you have done that is “stereotypically” male, even if there are women who do or like the same thing. “You like ‘Star Wars’, that is such a male thing.” Pointing out that her female friend loves ‘Star Wars’ way more than I do, the reply is, “Yeah, but she’s not typical with that.” Seriously, like ‘atypical’ wouldn’t have been my middle name had I given the selection process a little more thought.

It’s all right though. I’m very willing to pay karma her just dues, her fair share, and everything she has coming to her. I may be deep in arrears for enjoying the benefit of some sweet camouflage, but I took the second notice seriously and now the balance is swinging in my favor finally. Who knew it could be so expensive not to be yourself?

About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

3 responses »

  1. You have me wondering if I’m here illegally cleaning toilets, never mind. I tryed to transition in 1990 the horses ass therapist I seen didn’t help me out at all, he tryed to get in my pants so I just hid deeper. My wife was hurt, betrayed as you put it, trust is what was lost for a time. We have worked it out sence then, it took about a year. It hit me how I could hide something the size of a bus in my bed room all those years, I knew it was there, I just walked around it. Fear is a true motivator that is always there, I work constently to be rid of it I would say” In the name of Jesus Christ be gone” its like the devil it only kept me from being happy. I’ve got to be myself and trust is all I have in any good relationship. I can’t lose the people I care about though mistrust and then lose my happiness too and at the same time not being my self, Duhhh can you say, “How bad can you fuck yourself”?? Transitioning is hard on doubt about it! The best I can be is, ME. Life is a gamble some people don’t even get to wake up in the mornning so getting out of bed is a good start to the day. I love being the female that I am, I go out the door every mornning and take on my day being happy about myself, everyone should. The most important time of your life is now, don’t let it get away from you.

  2. Great posting (as usual). I had my Keyser Sozed moment around the first of this year. Ever since then it has become crystal clear to me that I am a trans woman. Looking back, most major decisions have been influenced by my real self. I told my psychologist that I feel like one of the Cylons on Battlestar Gallatica; I’ve been here the whole time, but no one knew. Since the first of the year, I have been increasingly in the mode you described in another great post-the one about the Windows task manager. That is exactly how I feel sometimes, so bombarded with stuff in my head that I get nothing done. I have a 20+ year marriage and two tremendous sons to get through college, so I doubt I will be able to come our anytime soon, but we will see.

  3. I’ve said it before. You often write what I think. I’ve been coming out to the second and third layer circles of my life over the past two weeks, and I have been bombarded with, “but you’re such a manly man.” Nobody wants to believe that I was just acting.
    The good thing about karma is that the scales don’t finish balancing till the end. Hopefully, we will over pay at this stage for keeping secrets in the past and thus gain from this in the future.


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