Thursday, September 27, 2007

Don't be Defined by your "Transgenderism" (or Any Other one thing)

The Transgender Companion, A Practical, Step by Step Guide and Companion for your Transition,

I was working my part time job serving in a restaurant tonight, and it brought something up I've learned in life that has helped me, and hopefully can help you too.

As I said, I am serving (waitressing) in a restaurant to get some extra money right now. I have never had a serving job, so it has been a real learning experience, and fun too - for the most part.

Sometimes, though, you get people who don't tip much. Tonight was a slow night (Septembers are typically slow in the restaurant business). I spent about 5 hours there and made only around $30 in tips. My last hour I only made $5. This was my second slow night, and I was feeling a bit discouraged and sorry for myself.

I thought, is this all I’m worth now? $5 an hour? Then Wayne told me, you’re worth 5 billion. That made me feel better (he usually can make me feel better).

But it got me to remembering. I am really notdefined by my job. In my life, I have graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Electrical Engineering. I held all types of jobs as an electrical engineer (design, maintance – I even worked shift work). I got fired from an engineering job, and tried to start a business selling phone cards and failed. I learned Oracle to break into the computer field and did that for several years as a consultant and an Oracle Database Administrator. I got burned out and did a couple of home businesses. Now here I am finally pursuing what I’ve always wanted to do (but thought I had to be “practical” and writing.
Now my point with all this is, I would have been in trouble if I thought I was defined by my job. My various accomplishments and careers and trials have all taught me something. I’ve enjoyed them each and had great experiences. I had to try those things to find what I really wanted to do.

It is kind of like my transition. It took me going through the struggles of my first 32 years to realize, hey, I am who I am. I can’t resent everybody else if I’m not willing to do this for myself, and it’s my life and nobody else’s, so I am going to be me and start my transition.
I also had to go through all those career moves to come back to what I originally loved to do even as a kid – write and be creative and make people happy with my work (hopefully).
Throughout all those jobs, I was still the essential me – the essential Jen. Even when I was still living as a man as “David”, I was still “the essential me”. I was not defined by my body at that point. I looked male on the outside. Inside, I still felt female.

It’s my spirit that was really who I was, and that spirit was female, and a writer, and feminine and so many other things – some of which were visible, some of which I just held inside.
It kind of goes back to what I always say – don’t let yourself be strictly defined by your transgenderism. Yes it is part of who you are, and it is a wonderful thing. During the beginnings of your transition it can consume a lot of your thinking and time as you get started, but it still is not all you are. You have dreams, talents, roles (parent, child, sibling, friend, boss, etc), loves, etc. Most of all, you have your essential essence that is uniquely you – your personality, dreams, goals, thoughts,etc.

Many things about us can change. Our opinions on issues, our jobs, our names, our hobbies, our thoughts, our roles (e.g. from child to parent). These are all wonderful qualities we have, but just remember, no one of them defines you – including your gender. You are a wonderfully complex human being with your own personality, goals, dreams, thoughts, and contributions to the world. Appreciate all of yourself!

For more practical advice and step by step guidance on transitioning, go to and order “The Transgender Companion” today! Free excerpt included on the web site.

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