Wondering about what is good for me…

Over the years I have given quite a few interviews some of which can be accessed here. I did not accept doing these right away but gave it some serious thinking. The main factor I believe was whether or not the journalist seemed genuinely interested in portraying me in a nice way without any sensation in mind. Doing these interviews have been very nice experiences and I feel fortunate to have these short snapshots of my life. Spending a few hours with a complete stranger and talking about rather personal things is often rather therapeutic and I guess it is also nice to be the center of attention for that time. When I started to come out internet was just starting to exist as we know it today and I remember how hard it was to get information about what it was like to be a transsexual woman. I remember reading the few articles I found in secret and with deep fascination. Knowing that you are not alone in this situation is so important. With that in mind I accepted doing the interviews also to maybe make a difference for other people in my situation and their close ones. Spreading information to the general public is of course also important since it is usually a good way to make things less strange. Misconceptions often come from lack of information.

Lately another aspect of how to deal with interview requests have been surfacing in my mind. Whether or not it is good for me as a person to keep reaffirming my status as a transsexual woman. It does not have to do with denying my past or anything like that but just what is will do for my self-confidence and self-image to have someone look at me as being different. Not that journalists have been negative towards me in any way but maybe the fact that I am special or courageous just because I have made this journey. Maybe also reminding people around me that I am not just another woman. My idealistic heart of course wants to keep changing the world by being out there on the barricades but maybe I have done my part for a while. On the other hand I strongly believe that we need to normalise our situation by also promoting people who actually make it as business leaders or in public office while being open with their transsexual background. When President Obama recently assigned a transsexual woman as the technical advisor to the US Commerce Department that was a big thing for all of us. My own situation is also quite cool when I think about it. I feel rather successful in my line of work and it feels great to be able to do that “despite” my background for lack of better words. It actually is quite nice to just be a skilled woman without having to talk about my personal life as well.

So as you see this is not an easy thing to handle. Lately I have started to hesitate when journalists call me and it has often ended in not doing the interview because the deadline had passed. I am finding myself confused and my “save-the-world”-gene prevents me from saying “no” so instead I have become hesitant. I have also found myself a little bit prudish for the first time in life. I have been asked to particpate in an art project around femininity which includes doing a photo shoot without any clothes but I can use props to cover selected parts if I like. On one hand I really would like to do that and use it as an exercise to feel confident as a woman in the nude and possibly get some well needed affirmations. However, unlike all other media related things I have done I don’t regret any of them and would gladly make most of that public at work for instance. It is not the same if I do this painting I think. I know there is a common fascination around the results of the transition process and the surgeries. Can I handle the fact that people around me will look at that painting to “judge” the results and look for any traces of my old self? I don’t know…

What I think all of this boils down to is how my self-image really is affected in the long run. I need to be able to settle down as a woman and to be able to think positively about how I am perceived or actually not thinking about it at all. The difference in how much time a day I spend worrying about how people would see me between now and ten years ago is just huge. Today it can happen but back then it was the normal state of mind. Moving away from that is not easy and what I am fearing is that recurring affirmations of that by doing interviews could make that process slower. On the other hand these thoughts will come anyway without any journalist in sight. Maybe when I am entering immigration in the US, walking into a store full of teenage girls or meeting officers from other nations. And of course when I am attracted to that cute lesbian woman…

Maybe I am also a bit new to the feeling of not being that sure about what to do about this anymore…

One thought on “Wondering about what is good for me…”

  1. I think the fact that you are thinking about means that you are leaning towards leaving it behind. It’s not the same thing, but when I first came out I felt a real need to tell people. I would tell them even when they didn’t ask. After awhile I felt like I didn’t want to..if it came up then I would, but otherwise I just let it go. Perhaps it’s a sign of being comfortable in who you are? Others will carry the torch as well and you have already done so much so don’t worry about that part. Maybe you could just put off doing any interviews for year and see how you feel?

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