Why I Make an Effort to Have Double Standards

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 🙂

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Why I Make an Effort to Have Double Standards

  1. Jen says:

    You are not alone with the way your dreams work.
    I have 100% dreamt that I am male, even in downright racy dreams that could be considered wet ones. I have no real concept of what it feels like to have my (normally nonexistent) penis touched, but my dreams assure me that it’s completely different from a clitoris. Which is interesting.
    You aren’t alone in having dreams about being the opposite gender.

    Like

  2. aikifox85 says:

    As someone who has had to adjust to a good friend transitioning (FtM), I will say that it can be a bit of a jolt initially. You’re absolutely correct in that it’s like getting to know this whole new person. I’ve been pretty good so far and have only slipped and used the wrong pronouns a couple of times. But what I worry about more is – when I reference past events, when he was still female, which name and pronoun do I use? Can I still share photos from when he was female? I understand that each person is bound to feel differently and that I should be asking him these questions to get the proper answers — but I’m not sure how to approach that subject to ask. Like the pre-transformation past is locked away in this giant guarded vault where approaching will only either grant entry or death.

    Like

    • Austin Elliot says:

      I would suggest asking. Better to ask than assume one way or the other–the past pronoun thing and comfort level with photos will differ from person to person.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Liliana says:

      Gaah. I knew I’d forgotten something in the post… I meant to mention how I keep switching pronouns when referring to my pre transition life.

      Honestly, you gave the answer yourself: it’s best to ask.
      As a rule of thumb, I would use neutral pronouns like they, or their current preferred pronouns to play it safe but it can vary from person to person.

      I personally don’t mind talking about past me. I have a lot of affection and gratitude towards him. I call them him, but if someone else were reminiscing, I’d rather they talked about past me as ‘Lily’ and ‘her’ .
      It’s a weird thing, and kind of why you should talk to them about it.

      If you don’t mind, I’d really like to talk to you about the transition process from the point of view of a friend, I’d like to write a post about that, eventually. Message me please if you’d be up for that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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