Been slacking off a bit with the writing recently. My schedule has been insane, truthfully – my summers usually are. Where to start?
Gym – As I’d mentioned previously, my schedule is now wonky and I’m going to the gym at 9pm after work. Not ideal, but serviceable. I had tossed around the idea of using this time away from my regulars at the gym to switch locker rooms and…. success. I feel like putting it in writing here makes me a lot more apt to actually do it. The first day was horrifying. It was busy and everything looked and smelled and felt different from the women’s room. I kept my had down and my eyes low and scurried into a changing stall and scurried back out. This went on for about 3 days. Scurry in, hide, change, scurry out – repeat after the workout. As I learned the lay out a little better (it’s like the women’s room, but opposite…and it’s surprising how disorienting that can be) I started to linger longer. The guys in there will spend as much time possible loitering about in as little clothing as possible. Obviously I can’t do the shirtless thing, so I change my shirt as quickly and discreetly as possible and spend as much time with no pants on as is feasible. If the main locker room is too crowded, I still head back to the private changing areas, but for now this seems to get me by. I’ve only gotten one weird look and that was back on my second day – you know, when I was still scurrying about. Protip: If you go anywhere and look confident and like you know you’re supposed to be there (no matter what you feel on the inside) most people won’t bother to question you…when you look uncertain about yourself, others become uncertain about you.
Regular Season Softball – Two weeks in here and it still baffles me that there are people out there that know me only as Tyler and there’s no question in their mind that I’m male. My own teammates have been absolutely incredible about calling me Tyler and about the pronouns. Honestly, I was worried because Melissa and I play with a church group (we don’t go to the church, but 95% of the team does and that’s how they know each other) and the religious types can be a little condescending, but these guys have honestly shattered every preconception I had about religious types. They’re a great bunch. The teams we play against so far have been really awesome, too and don’t realize that I’m trans. They treat me like a guy. There weren’t any questions or weird looks or strange interactions or coming out. Just “I’m Tyler”.
Special Olympics Softball – First, if you have an opportunity to work with Special Olympics near you, do it. It’s a fantastic, rewarding experience and I’ve never met a more loving, accepting and supportive group of people. I’ve been working with my local Special Olympics for 3 years now – 2 softball seasons and a football season and this will be my third softball season. After talking to the coach about wanting to be called Tyler and preferring male pronouns, he immediately switched and, if it’s been difficult for him to remember, he hasn’t shown. Seriously, he’s better at it than Melissa was at first. One of the practices that Melissa and I couldn’t make, he pulled all the athletes together and explained to them. One of the lower functioning girls (that I’ve known for several years outside of Special Olympics stood up and said “so what you’re saying is she’s transgender? So what? That’s no big deal!” She still doesn’t get my name or pronouns right, but it’s okay. The coach then contacted our state’s Special Olympics board of directors, who immediately changed my name and gender in their records. Wait, what!? That’s right….no questions asked, no legal documentation required. I’m now a boy named Tyler to Special Olympics.
Speaking of legal documentation…. My name change paperwork is notarized. I just need to get my court date. My therapist signed my gender change documentation. I could theoretically take that to the DMV right now, but I’m going to do it all at the same time….because who wants to make multiple trips to the DMV? Not this guy. After that, my next stop will be the bank, because my debit card needs to match my ID or I’m going to start running into more questions than I’d like sooner rather than later. And getting arrested for stealing my own identity would be hilarious and obnoxious…..but mostly obnoxious.
Work – The coworkers I’m close to are trying to remember to call my Tyler. It’s hard for them since I still have to introduce myself as Christina on the phone. My boss keep commenting on how deep my voice has gotten really quickly and people are really no longer believing me on the phone when I tell them my name is Christina. I call these all wins. Soon the name change will be legal and I’ll be able to answer the phone the way I want to.
I feel like the hardest part is the patience with the whole process at this time. Everything’s moving forward but sometimes it feels like it’s crawling.