Sunday, June 29, 2008

The 'out' dilemma

Coming out is not an easy choice. We value our relationships whther romantic, family or friendships, even working relationships are extremely important to us. Humans are a social animal and their is no denying that fact and any moral and/or ethical dilemma must take that into account though it is rarely given its full genuine value in many such discussions.

So anything that might threaten those relationships or are feared will are of course problematic. It's been a problem for all sorts of people for a long time and many people have struggled internally on whether to be open about matters of faith or sexuality or politics and much more because of possible or believed risk to these vital connections with others. The world is rife with people who have lost friends, lovers, family and the like because of such honesty so the risk can't be easilly dissmissed.

Somehave it easier than others, some have more open-minded family and friends or culture, some have the reverse. Some have little choice and are compelled inexorably to be out while others struggle or hide for ages.

Now to me.
I've always been a non-conformist so I'm not sure why just this one part of me got hidden away. I recall struggling with it at a very early age though which makes it difficult to work out. Nevertheless a few circumstances lead me to begin slowly to start unravelling the denials and difficultioes I'd built up in my unconcious relating to this.

I'd been as honest as I knew how with my relationship, mentioning my crossdressing as soon as it started getting at all serious only weeks into it. However it became a problem anyway as she demanded I quit and I realised through attempting too that it was more a part of me than i had allowed myself to realise.

It's easy to lock away the memories of the times when you cry into your pillow screaming silently or wishing fervently that things will change. You just have to not think about those times and if you suceed you leave them out of your sense of self. Your unconcious knows the truth but your concious lives shielded from it by a wall of whitewashed self deception.

But as I started to face these parts of me and as my relationship fell apart for a variety of reasons I decided to tell those I was relying on for my emotional support. The responses were good. My imediate family, and almost all my close friends were told and all were supportive in their own way, some a little reserved but uncritical and loving and others shockingly exuberantly supportive (my Dad actually shouted 'Good on ya!' down the phone when I told him!).

But even when its got a bit easier with each success its still hard. The few friends I haven't told are awkward as some I don't know as well or for as long while another I'm not sure how he will react and I'm finding myself struggling with bad mental and emotional habits lately too though I'm working on that. I've dropped hints aplenty but i know thats not the best way to deal with it. Still I hope that the gradual increase in my general femininity will ease into things.

There's also the problem of the general community. I've not had much problem since the end of school despite being a goth but the town is a unique mixture of rural and cosmopolitan because of the University and the large number of foreign students and while there's a lot more acceptance than in many rural areas i know others have had some problems with intolerance over the years.

So I'm hoping that the gradual increase in my public feminity might help there too and so far so good. But the fear remains. How quick would be too quick? Or is there a line that can be stretched only so far? I'm sure in some places in town I would already have crossed that line but pubs aren't my scene.

So its the difficulty I'm wrestling with right now. Ideally I'd just be 'out there' just as I am as a goth, but the town has had over a decade and a half to get used to me as a goth and my self defence skills because of my CFS sure aren't what they were last time I had to defend myself.

It's not so much an if though, but a how and a how fast.

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