I have double standards.
Sort of. They’re not unfair, but I definitely treat groups of people differently.
Just about everyone on the street and at work treats me like myself. Sure, some people (mostly men) can be a little weird and awkward, but they use the right name and the right pronouns. If anyone, a customer, coworker, or stranger, calls me ‘him’ I will get offended and give them hell. However, if one of my friends slips up, I will feel deflated and not say anything unless they do it again and again.
This also works the other way. I get called “Lily” every single day at work, I have girl friends, I talk to people who don’t see me as anything but a ‘regular’ woman and treat me that way. It’s nice, but as generally nice as it is, it’s not a big deal. On the other hand, I can think of every single time one of my long-time friends has used my name or referred to me as ‘her’. A friend recently called me something that’s only really used towards a woman and it made my day, despite the fact I get called similar things by others just about every day.
Why is that?
I’ve talked before about the way my sexual orientation has done a complete 180 since starting my transition. I considered myself solely attracted to women a year ago, but if you asked me now how I’d feel dating another girl, I’d likely give you a confused look and go “no, thanks.”
However, some days I like to imagine what my wedding would be like, and for no particular reason, on some days I’ll imagine myself as the bride, and other days as the groom.
Similarly, it took me months to have random daydreams about going on a date, and seeing myself as the girl.
It’s odd. I’ll go to sleep, and I’ll dream as Lily some nights, and as [redacted] on other nights. Heck, there are times when I’ll start a dream as a man and end it as a woman. It’s just one of many reasons I suspect I’d be a terrible director; if I can’t keep such obvious continuity errors straight, I’d be hopeless with a film.
As sad as this might sound, I happen to be my best friend. I’ve mentioned previously how I take time to go on dates with myself. Now, when I do that, I don’t just spend time by myself, I spend time with myself. That is, I talk to myself.
I’ve heard it isn’t too odd, that everyone has their own inner monologue. What’s odd about mine is that it also switches gender. Half the time I’ll hear that voice in my head speaking with my old male voice, half the time with my female voice.
I could go on and on. For example, there’s the fact that if you asked me out of nowhere to picture myself, I’d close my eyes, see a smile and big eyes, and nothing around the edges. I used to picture guy me, now I don’t see anything. Or rather, it’s fuzzy. Just like my dreams, my inner monologue, and my daydreams, the mental image of myself is a big blob that combines both my old guy self and my genuine self.
I suspect it’s worse for the people who’ve been friends with me for years. At least I’ve known for a long time that I’m transgender, and that’s helped me adjust easier. For them, it’s almost like getting to know a whole new person.
When someone new meets me, they get to start their image of me from scratch. If they see me as a man, it makes me angry because it’s all on them. With people who’ve known me for a long time, it’s just more complicated. They have to take something that’s already there, and work with it to make it different. Compare painting on an empty canvas, as opposed to painting on something stained with different colours all over the place. You have to work around it, and bits of the original paint will stick out here and there.
It’s hard for them. I don’t know if they feel like I’ve been patient. I try to be. It’s difficult to think of others when you’re having to face discrimination and experience an overwhelming warping of the whole world, but I do my best to be considerate. As much as it hurts when they use the wrong names or pronouns, I know it’s not easy to adjust, even after seven or eight months.
The reason I have double standards comes down to hypocriticism*; I find it less hypocritical to treat some people one way and others in another, than expecting my friends to do what I still struggle to do, having had less time to do so.
*I don’t know if that’s a real word, but I’m totally rolling with it.
This has been a long week, but a fantastic start to January. I’m feeling very happy right now. I hope you’re all doing well too.
As always, if you have anything you’d like to talk about, please leave a comment below 🙂