Caitlin on Life (While in Flight)

18 April, 2011

[Written mid-flight to Duluth, Minnesota; updated comments are in brackets.]

In flight now. Somewhere over the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a kind of limbo state. People don’t really stay in Wisconsin; they either pass through or they are visiting the strange, unusual, and freaky tourist traps: the Wisconsin Dells, the Mystery Spot, and the House on the Rock. I feel like I am living in Wisconsin. I am in the beginnings of a strange transition period as I go through a divorce, deal with a probable genetic disease, and leave the person I present as behind in favor of who I really am. The people in my life seem like Wisconsin tourists. They are either “just passing through” and don’t want to see too much of who I am or they are the tourist trap lovers who are here only to see the strange pseudo-lady. I have very few friends who are also residents of Wisconsin (thank you Diana, Duke, M, Heather, Mark, Mom). It seems the unusual and the open-minded are rapidly becoming the last of their kind.

I am up in the air, literally–flying to Minnesota–and figuratively–trying to figure out who I am and how I should live. I am also in the air because of family. I am flying out to see them partly to get help working through my divorce from M. Mainly, however, it is to help them understand and accept who I am. Dad, in particular is the reason for the visit. He is the one who is in the dark about who I am and what I am going through. As far as he knows, I am experiencing a hormonal problem and I need to get them balanced. My Mom and Brother don’t know much more than that and, my sense of gender dysphasia, and how I go through life presenting. They will all be surprised to learn that Caitlin Song is reality.

GID is not a turn on or off choice. It is a fact. It is simply a part of nature. Most important it is like a cancer or a retro-virus. Caitlin has always been, but she came in small regulate-able, easy to manage doses. But the older I get the more present and persistent she gets. She grew inside me, getting stronger, demanding more. More time. More freedom. More me. Now Caitlin is the dominate self. Caitlin is who I am and the other, A, is the presentation. A is who I am when society forces me to hide. A exists only to serve a function and is a role that I, Caitlin, slip on when the situation warrants it. A is the presentation and Caitlin is the reality. I am Caitlin.

This hurts my family, who have only known A. But what they don’t seem to understand is Caitlin and A are the same person. We inhabit the same skin, have the same likes and the same dry, quirky humor. I am still A in so far as that A has always been Caitlin. As I said, Caitlin has always been here; fear kept me from living as her. That is, fear kept me from being myself.

Also, as I said, Dad will have the hardest time with this. I can see the response now: he gets very quiet, perhaps he says whatever I need to do I need to do, or perhaps he says nothing [this is the response I suspect; last night when he saw my hair a look of disapproval came across his face, he shook his head, and walked away]. Either way, what will follow will be two or three days of tourniquet conversation as he tries to get his mind around what he has learned. I believe he loves me and that  love will, eventually, enable him to accept who I am–even if grudgingly. It is getting to that point with him that will be hard. I do not look forward to hurting him this way or to the look of betrayal I expect to see in his eyes [that was a painful expression to see].

These next few days will be the hardest I have ever lived through and it is impossible to say how they will play out. For now, my life, like my physical location, is up in the air.

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