Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Seriousness of Transition

Recently in my support groups I posted a few links to the tragic story of Sportswriter Mike Penner life and death. Most of you have already heard this news but for those that have not, here are the links I shared:

I believe that Mike/Christine is one we must add to the long list of people we remember in our future Days of Remembrance. In a few of my support groups there has been some discussion of the issue but I think it useful to post my response to one such thread where the seriousness of transition was being discussed.

Mike Penner's life proves that Transition isn't something to toy with - that is why I posted the news link originally [to the support groups I belong to]. One has to be dead certain transition is the right path to take in one's life or it might just kill you because of the pressures it puts on one. I regret waiting so long to start, but if I had not waited until I had exhausted every other avenue of trying to cope with the girl inside I would not be certain I made the right choice. It is this certainty that gets me through the ridicule that comes from ignorant people. It gets me through the frustrating delays and lack of funds, not to mention the anxiety, depression and times of self-doubt that naturally will come to anyone who goes public in transition. Going back is not an option for me and I damn well know it. The misery of the first 50 and1/2 years is proof enough for me. Even if I am not as far along as I had planned and hoped I am glad to be here alive and basically happy.

One also has to remember that transition isn't a cure-all for the problems of life. These don't go away just because you change your gender, in fact those things likely will get worse if and when you do! So if dressing and going out is a release for you that is great - do enjoy it to the full, but be very sure the real thing comes with all the life-problems that dressing up and partying only hides temporarily.

Here's something to think about: Why are you a CD/TG/TS identified person? Is it because of the thrill or sexual rush you get by dolling yourself up, going out and kicking up your heels or is it something you must do to live life sanely and face down all of life's challenges in addition to the extra load you will bear in transition. Knowing the answer to that may just save your life one of these days.

Hugs and Blessings,


  1. Eva-Genevieve, if your post isn't full of hard-won truths, I don't know what is. And I know precisely what you mean when you say that sometimes you wish you could have transitioned at a younger age, but because you transitioned later in life, you knew you'd made the right choice. That's exactly how I explain my own situation.

    If transitioning is the right thing for you, when you do it, you get yourself--nothing more and nothing less. Nothing is more its own reward than that, which is the reason why very few things (that I'm aware of, anyway) take more emotional and spiritual resources--not to mention physical and financial ones!--than a gender transition.

    Lots of people will never understand that. The ones who do are the ones who are your allies, and possibly friends.

  2. Hello Again,

    I have mentioned this post, and said some more about Mike Penner/Christine Daniels on my blog:

    My thoughts are with Mike/Christine and whoever was part of his/her life.

  3. Eva, I came out at 56 and I'm not going back. I'm being more open about my transgenderism and it's something that I've thought long and hard about.

  4. Many of us do go through a period of finding extreme pleasure in the experimentation with our self-identity. But then it either gels as something that can just be recreational or something that has to be permanently and irrevocably integrated into who we are 24/7.

    I think many people get messed up at this point because they confuse the thrill of momentary release and pleasure of self-expression they have experienced with what reality will be like after transition.

    Somebody early on told me that I was still in the "pink euphoria" of my transition and that reality soon comes back with a vengeance. They were right and reality has set in and sometimes it is ugly.

    The reality of fully living life in one's new gender role is often unintentionally played down or glossed over in blogs and articles. I often do this by focusing on the wonderful blessings I have had in my life as Eva and skipping over the mundane and challenged parts of my life. Those latter parts don't make good reading but they do need to be faced by people considering transition.

    So now I challenge transgender people - especially the younger generation of to face these facts before committing to real life changes. To many that I have met life seems to just be one big drag-ball or sex party and that is not at all what they will face when the party is over and one has to live with the choices made. (Consequences are a bitch)!

    I have no idea if Mike Penner was prepared for this influx of reality or not - I did not follow his life closely. But his/her very public life and death prodded me to talk about it. We don't need to keep dying because of who we are and maybe my experiences and observations will help a few of us stay alive.


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