(I want to introduce a long-time friend, one of my best friends, to you as a guest blogger. This intimate story needs to be told...Honestly, L)
My name is Jeanine Stewart. I have 3 amazing, grown kids and a wonderful husband of 38 years. My kids are talented and successful in their fields and all are happily married. And then...there's my husband- the most amazing person I’ve ever met. Truly, I still sigh when Hubbie walks by... giggle...woo-hoo! I realize how unusual my entire life has been.... you see, my blessing, is an anomaly, which has led me down a path that is definitely less traveled by the maddening crowd.
My blessing is simply called... transgender or gender variant! I want to get the silly title right... it keeps changing ..lol....Basically, I am a transwoman with a twist. I like to say transgender 9.10!
I’m not famous like Caitlyn Jenner, ah shoot...lol..., no media attention for me ( I pray no unwanted recognition ever finds me), but I do truly wish Caitlyn luck and hope she has a wonderful life. What is more wonderful than having a flourishing family life though? And I’ve got that! At my age it symbolizes how far I've come.
In real life there are a great many of us dealing with gender issues. Our lives are sweeter.... and every girl on earth knows it... “do these jeans make my ass look too big?” "Who else gets to shop this much.. certainly not the guys"...lol...Many say Trans can’t help feeling this way, while others say it’s a macabre choice we’ve made and we are evil homosexuals. I tend to think neither is right and it feels like some kind of mental glitch. I haven't had to experience the nervous hospital yet! Thank God!
We all know gender variant guys & girls, you all notice us wherever you may be. We really don't fool anyone in the least. Every community throughout history has integrated some of us into their most important events and activities. It could be the next group of young boys are feeling more feminine just as young girls are becoming more aggressive each day. The male role is losing it's footing in society. Perhaps it's a balance, perhaps the scales are tipping.
Let me get back to my own blessing...Like other woman in the world, my hope, is to stay focused, on my loving hubbie (I refer to her as my hubbie as she has taken over that role for the past 20 yrs) and my wonderful family. However, I am different than most transwomen you have seen or have read about. I am a transgender woman, who chose to stay in this man’s body. That’s right, and it has been a task to say the least... but I have found, like it or not, there are major (exterior) advantages in being perceived as male in this world we live in.
I think, more and more gender variant women will choose the path I’ve chosen in the future…and still be comfortable in their own skin. Certainly would save on the surgeries and the mental anguish of “passing” as a woman. I'd love to see a preoccupation with developing our inside state rather than focusing on the race to appeal to our outside appearance. Less of a "woman" or bust (all or nothing) mentality- something in between. Maybe a little more bust...lol.
In the meantime…back in the jungle…I’ve been to more therapists than your average screwed up American and I am thankful for their help. My diagnosis is severe transgender feelings. Gender variant behavior is such a scary thing. I was told by 99.9% of these therapists and doctors that I could never be happy in this body because I identify solely with the opposite sex and as a result it causes massive emotional pain. Hmmmm.. really...lol...
During all of the therapy in these last seventeen years, the years of group therapy, the painful electrolysis, the late night crying with neither my partner nor I, knowing what to do...”Love seems to have conquered all”.... what a cliche huh? I had and have a husband, lover and friend, who refused and still refuses to give up on me.
Full definition of husband:
My husband refused to say it was all right for me to drift into the body modifications so typical of the trans women you see on the TV. Hubbie continued to call into account my love for her and our children, always reassuring me of her love and how important my male image is to our children. A husband who has made her own sacrifices- she's sacrificed her own security and stepped up to the plate in business, emotional stability, and sound financial decisions and eventually taking a very kind and commanding place in leading our marriage.. Yes, she is now my husband-wife.. many would say, but to me, she’s hubbie and I am forever thankful for her and her infinite female wisdom... Is she butch, or lesbian bent, in her presentation, absolutely not, she’s one of the most feminine women I know, the most beautiful and loving woman I have ever had the pleasure to know... yet she is as strong as any man or woman I have ever met.
Only recently have I decided to stay in my original body. My constant desire to transition into what the world, the therapist, and society deemed to be female, seemed to slowly dim as I did more research on what the medical community has been telling women like me for years.
I decided to become the thinking woman instead of a cliché of a woman, which I saw most of my trans friends doing. They all listened to mostly male driven medical ideas and just like our mom’s came home and did what the doctors said.
I said to hell with that and took a hard look at how I really feel inside.
Did I want to go through that much surgery? No! Did I want to practice being someone that I had never been in a modified body in order to fit in? No- because you’re still trying to fit into a stereotype and a size 6…would be nice…lol. Did I want boobies? Well hell yes, lol, but that’s another story completely.. giggly... oh heck... I’m sure I would love them and do love the small ones I have now from the estrogens I have done for the last 12 years.
I began to take a serious look at my friends who had already transitioned and all the young girls looked great and all the late transitioners, which would be me, looked like men in dresses.. so that was a complete turn off. Did I want electrolysis? Ouch, no, but I did it anyway and I love not shaving... hair is so icky anyway... giggling...
I replaced the medical community and society’s views of what a woman is with my own thoughts of what a woman was in my heart. I know! Don’t don’t be haters...lol... but I began to look at what natural born independent women acted like and found they were actually a lot like me and how I thought.....Women have changed so much in the past couple decades.
I slowly but confidently came to a conclusion about natural women and the kind I feel so deeply I am, that was much different than, any therapist had told me. I asked myself, did I know any women who would intentionally hurt their children as I had witnessed over and over with my transgender women friends? I began thinking of all the women I knew, who had suffered and sacrificed who they were, careers, personal enjoyment even- all for their children as well as their husbands. Every woman I knew, pretty much placed her family’s needs before her own. Hmmm .....ver-wee... inter-westing...lol...
I thought long and hard before I brought this idea up in my “trans” group. I researched as much as I could, but one night I finally asked the question... it took all my strength to say it because I love my sisters in this community even if I am a little different than they are on my delivery.
I cried in my car gentle tears before I went in, for I knew I would not be in the same comfortable place I had enjoyed with my friends... but, in the meeting that night, I asked.. “How many natural born women do you know, who would hurt their children intentionally? I said I do not know one. A friend said well there are some. I said yes, but, all of those women are considered to be mentally ill”, I then said, 'I know I would kill any man who tried to hurt my children', then I paused and said: even the one I live in”.
Needless to say, the conversation didn’t go well that night for me or my friends. I’m not sure what I said, was for them anyway, but I’m sure what I said was for me. I did continue to go but my relationships were never the same after that night.
However, I found a door for me, and realized what I respected most about women and the way I might respect myself more, and not feel so ashamed, was to willingly embrace the suffering, pain and sacrifice I saw in each natural born woman. It became my strength in fighting the feelings of transition. Each time they would overwhelm me, I would think of the willing sacrifice I was choosing to assure my families own emotional health.
Soon, I began to find peace in the suffering and the sacrifice, yet the pain began to disappear. I was willing to endure more and more each day for my family. Not the sacrifice of a man, but a feminine sacrifice, or it felt that way to me anyway, so, I used it. I found solace in that I felt more in tune with what I felt was a woman in my own heart and mind. I began to take pride in the love I was sharing and giving so freely to my children and my wife. Years earlier and many of my trans friends had felt resentment at the constant time we had to share away from being a woman, yet, this technique I was employing let me spend more of every moment as the woman I was inside... I began to see my hubbie as my hero.
The woman I was closest to, Hubbie, had already experienced all the things, I was trying to become. She had been my friend first of all and had constantly stood by me, always encouraging, always, willing to go the extra mile. I began to pattern my own life after the sacrifice, the pain and struggles, I had witnessed in her life.
The cloudiness of my indecision of being in the wrong body became less. My every thought became more focused on the sacrifice for my children and my brave husband. Soon it no longer felt like a sacrifice but what I should do and a natural yearning to do more for each of them. With each of these thoughts, I not only was spending more time with my family, but was also solidifying my own journey into womanhood.
And, with each passing day my inner woman not only became more focused on my goal, but also my hunger to be the woman I felt inside, was becoming an authentic one.
To be continued...
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!