Publicly coming out as trans

I realized I was trans almost four years ago.  In that time I’ve been out to everyone online, my friends and family members, and the people at the yarn shop I went to when I was living 75 miles away from Hometown.  That’s it.

In a couple of hours I’m going to a rather large mental health awareness event, to help my new nonprofit group director work the registration table.  I agreed with no hesitation.  It wasn’t until about 10:00 last night that I realized that holy fuck, I’m coming out to the entire local mental health community.  I used to be pretty involved, as an activist and professional peer counselor.  My former boss and some co-workers will be there.  Some of my former clients might show up.  Future potential employers and co-workers will be there.  And everyone who knows me from Before will have to hear, “I’m Alex now.  I came out as transgender four years ago.”  And then there will be questions, which will be answered two ways: “When you get home, Google ‘trans 101’,” or “I’m sorry, that’s a very personal question.  It’s been nice seeing you.”

I am, naturally, terrified.  I’m doing it anyway, because I’ll have to come out to this community at some point if I’m going to be working in it again.  I won’t be alone — my nonprofit friends (who only know me as Alex and are very trans-friendly) will back me up, and my sister and her family will be there.  I doubt anyone will be rude to my face, because it’s a pretty liberal community.  But I am also prepared to (politely) say things like “it’s not my job to educate you” and “I don’t make comments about your masculinity/femininity, do I?”  I really don’t give a fuck about passing as a cis male; I’m a bit genderqueer anyway, and my gender identity/expression are none of their business so long as they use the correct name and pronouns and are respectful.

I do wish I’d had enough warning to get my hair cut first.  I’m a bit shaggy.  Yay for hair pomade, I guess.

Now, as to why I’m writing this at 5am: I haven’t slept.  At all.  I’m getting where I can’t sleep because of the Geodon dependency.  I spend the nights shaking and sweating, even if I take my meds on time, even with a Klonopin.  This can’t go on.  After my semester finishes (two weeks left!) I’m going to ask my pdoc to taper me off and put me on something else.  I’m really, really not looking forward to it, but it’s better than feeling like a junkie in need of a fix every night.

I’m going to take a shower and go get some breakfast or something.  I can’t just sit here twitching until it’s time for my morning meds.  (I can’t take them early, because then I’ll get the shakes even earlier in the evening.)

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