Bad Days Are Okay

Posted: August 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

When you’re transgender, you have days when you’re totally cool with it and so is everyone around you, and other days where it feels like you’re an extra in a movie about Hitler and you have less chance of surviving than a Redshirt in the original Star Trek franchise.


And that never goes away.


Authors, take note of that fact.


Non-cisgender folk, take note of this one: it’s okay to feel like that. It really is.


Because a lot of the time when you feel like that, it’s not actually true. It’s not true that on Tuesday the whole world was with you, and on Wednesday the whole world hated you.


I had one of those days Friday. See, I am out to my friends and family. My friends were all supportive — mostly because the ones who weren’t got frienddumped fast and hard and so long, suckers! My family…ehhh. My family — like many transgender folk — is more complicated.


The verbal response from all except my dad (who said ‘no’) and one of my siblings (who has ignored the issue with impressive dedication) was fine. I got a bunch of ‘not surprised’ (cheers, Auntie Liz?!) and ‘whatever makes you happy’ (damn straight) and all — on the surface — seemed fine.


Now normally this counts as good days for me. Not only is a huge wing of my family Catholic and very anti-LGBT, but my family don’t talk to each other. We’re terribly British what-ho and refuse all emotional displays (even crying at funerals is to be done quickly and with as little mess as possible, thank you) and generally ignore each other. Acknowledgement and then reverting to that standard is actually what I want.


But Friday I had a bad day.


Friday felt like the whole world hated me for what I am, and I’m never going to be accepted. It started with a work phone call, wherein the caller laughed and went, “I was so confused! [Manager] said I should get him to come to the meeting and then you turned up!” I went, “Er. Yes. I’m transgender.” Cue the most awkward silence ever.


Normally I would find this funny. I’ve certainly laughed at the same before, like the poor man who got into an argument with my colleague when he said, “I need [my name]” and was told “he’s not at his desk right now, I can take a message if you like.” Blew the guy’s mind. “No!” he insisted. “No, no, it was a woman! I need Miss [surname].” This was hilarious, only two weeks ago. And yet the same situation yesterday was like, “Christ, really? This again?”


To top it off, I came home to find a birthday card on my doormat. Postmarks are as good as photo ID in my family, so I knew without opening it that it was from my Catholic aunt. My Catholic aunt who is very anti-LGBT people, and sent me pink and cutesy things for my whole life, despite openly acknowledging that ‘you were never really that type of girl.’ (So why did you keep sending them???)


The first thing? It was addressed to Miss [previous name].


Then? Okay, it was a gender neutral card. A ray of hope! Only to be dashed when I opened it to see that it had been signed by the tribe, but not actually dedicated to someone. Yup. Not even a ‘hey!’ Just the Hallmark greeting, and the tribe signatures. (Key point: my aunt always dedicates the card, even if it’s just writing your name at the top.)


And finally, she’d put a birthday cheque inside. On the up side, cool, free money. On the down side, I could hand it to anyone reading this blog and you’d be able to cash it. Yup, no prizes for guessing: no name.


So on Friday, I felt like I had no name, and — by extension, weirdly — I was the same out-of-place ‘girl’ that I’d always been.


And it’s okay to feel like that, for a while. It’s okay to have off days, and for the same thing that made you laugh last week make you want to cry or punch someone this week. It doesn’t make you any less transgender or non-binary than you’ve ever been. It doesn’t mean you won’t get to the other side of transitioning, or that you’re wrong for transitioning or not-transitioning the way that you want. It doesn’t mean you’re always going to feel shitty, and it doesn’t mean you’re unstable. It means you’re fucking human.


It’s totally okay if not every day you feel like you can kick ass and take names.


(It’s only when most days aren’t for ass-kicking and taking names that there’s a problem.)

  1. Jan says:

    (((((Matt))))) I’m sorry Friday was so horrible, but I’m glad you know that its ok to have bad days, we all have them, as you say its how we respond to them that matters, and how frequent they are.
    Just a thought, maybe your aunt wasn’t sure what name to use on the cq? My daughter is Genevieve, her bank account is Genevieve, BUT we all call her Jenny. Cheques made out to Miss J Xxxx are no use to her, the bank won’t accept them.
    Remember you are amazing, and on the days when you can’t kick ass there are people who will do it for you, with hugs if needed!


  2. There are three types of families. The family you choose, the family you are lucky to have and the family you are… stuck with. I try to remind myself that two out of three isn’t so bad! 😀

    I’m sorry you were hurting and proud of you for being honest about it. Sometimes admitting that you’re not okay is the hardest part. Keep your chin up. A new day is always just around the corner. ❤

    P.S. My extended family is German Catholic. The police were called to my cousin's wedding when the father of the bride got in a fist fight with his other daughter's husband and the bride was screaming at them both while bashing them with her bouquet. Unfortunately, that wasn't the first time something like that happened, or the last. Let's just say our family gatherings are… interesting. The next time your Aunt is in a snit think about my cousin and look on the bright side. At least you aren't related to me! LOL


    • Must be a Catholic thing…mine are Irish Catholics, and the last family wedding (also my cousin!) had a very similar scene between the great-aunt of the groom and the bartender who stupidly thought serving the exceedingly drunk elderly lady another G&T might be a bad idea…

      Liked by 1 person

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