The New Old
I really don’t do Stealth that much.
I’m much more comfortable Woodworking.
But while in both transition …
One doesn’t actively seek Function calls,
And both probably see …
Some delicate dancing around situations which could lead to them,
With the Stealth approach,
There is more of an affirmative attempt to deny one’s Function,
Which also usually means there is probably a greater risk of sorts,
Whether it’s personal, emotional or physical,
If one’s Function is called.
Now that’s not saying that in Woodworking there isn’t a risk …
It’s just that when one is Stealth,
I think generally the risk is greater.
Now I mention all this …
Because recently I flunked out of my Stealth Class.
There are few situations …
Where I make an affirmative attempt to disguise and deny My Function,
And my bowling league of the past couple years is one of them.
Now for those new to the scene,
A couple of years ago,
I found myself doing the nomad bowler circuit.
Roaming from one bowling alley …
Whatever it took to give me something to do,
And keep me getting outta the house.
It wasn’t necessarily a good experience really,
I felt like a loser,
Found myself in some less than comfortable situations,
And never really hooked up with any group where I felt I belonged.
I just didn’t enjoy myself,
And I eventually was bowling less and less,
While just going out more and more,
Taking some dangerous risks.
That is …
My Bowling Agent,
Took me out of the bowling alley in which I was rolling around,
And connected me with her sister,
Who was in a league that had a team that needed a body,
And I kids,
Was willing to be a body !
Now this was at a time,
When word of My Function was just making the rounds.
And it was incredibly, beyond kewl that My Bowling Agent,
And a few others who were in on the know,
Were classy and kind enough to let me join their league.
Amazing, brave people,
I’ll never be able to thank them enough.
Now when I went there for my first night,
I don’t remember making a conscious decision to do Stealth,
But I do recall being concerned about not disappointing,
Or embarassing those that I knew,
Who were kind enough to let me join the league.
So I know I was planning on if anything,
Doing more a Stealth thing,
Than Woodworking thing.
It was in a part of town where I had limited contact,
I didn’t know people there really,
And those in the league that knew,
And let’s be phrank,
I hadn’t had the best of luck being a bowling gypsy,
So I really wasn’t expecting I’d be there long term anyways,
Hoped for it,
But definitely didn’t plan on it.
Though just like love kiddos,
It hits you when you least expect it.
I ended up totally feeling at ease with the team and league,
The people where great !
Not only did they laugh at my opening line when I first met them,
“Hi, I’m the bowler to be named later.”
One of them was phreaking able to name the movie from which I psuedo-plagarized it !!!
And when that same evening the words to me were uttered,
“Just to warn you Amy, with us … it’s not about the bowling.”
I knew I had found a home.
I laughed and felt so comfortable with everyone,
And loved my new team.
We bonded from that very first night.
People there became friends,
And I started hanging out with some on more than just bowling nights.
And the Amy favorite,
Were being formed,
The essential ingredient for a flavorful life.
But there was always than damn Stealth annoyance …
In the background.
Just like before,
During the Ver. 1.0 times,
I had a secret.
And the closer I got to people,
The greater to me became the risk,
Of the secret getting out.
I took chances, too.
Sometimes we’d go bar hopping to my usual haunts,
The risk of someone telling someone something was definitely there.
And though most of my speaking gigs aren’t local,
I make an exception for the local university,
And always felt the risk that maybe someone in one of the classes I gab with,
Would also be in the league.
And as much as a surprise this might be to a few,
I don’t usually just sit quietly in a corner,
I laugh, smile and love being around people,
So I tend to stick out in a krowd.
And people notice that,
So who knows who talks to who,
But the risk was always present that someone would get the word,
And then spread it.
Though as time went on,
I thought less and less about it.
It was a great part of my life,
I was hanging out with wonderful people,
And I got to be just the Annoying Girl Next Door,
Instead of the Annoying Girl Next Door Who Used To Be A Guy, Man !
At the end of last season,
I got the word there was some analysis by one of the teams,
Sporting a premise that I used to be a guy,
And they were sharing their theory with others.
I have to believe I turned white as a ghost when I heard it.
Of course I did my best to not show I was rattled,
Was I ever rattled !
I finished out the season,
But to say I was scared krapless,
Is sort of an understatement.
Took a lot of personal steel for me to work up the nerve to continue out the year.
On one hand I was pleased with myself for not chickening out,
On the other hand,
Sometimes I’m stupid.
Over the summer,
I had to make a decision:
- Do I take a gamble and continue bowling there … Stealth;
- Do I out myself and try to continue bowling there … Woodworking; or,
- Do I quit.
Well, instead of boring you with the long, detailed analysis of how I arrived at the decision,
And you know, there was indeed a long, detailed analysis :),
I’ll give you the short Kliff Notes version:
Continued Steath didn’t seem like a realistic option. Once the analysis starts to focus on you in that regards, it is hard to shake it. From what I understood, the team sharing their theory of My Function wasn’t selling it well to others at the time, some of those they told it to weren’t buying it, but, I didn’t expect them to stop selling it. It was a group of girls that were spouting it, and one thing I know, girls can be catty. And considering I am 0 – 2 in chick fights (both by knockout too, I really am a klueless, skillless chick fighter), the odds of me coming out of this one well continuing Stealth weren’t good.
Outing Myself also wasn’t a good option. This was a co-ed league … and though I didn’t solicit guys’ attention, it’s not my nature to discourage it either. As guys would drink, sometimes they would attempt to steal kisses, gropes and grabs. And though no one ever got a return kiss or invitation for another after stealing one, and I discouraged groping and grabbing fairly firmly (I do hug though) … over the years, there were enough interactions, and requests for date dates … that there would possibly, likely be some people that would not be krazy to find out they grabbed, groped, attempted to kiss or go out with … me. I felt the risk in this instance was just a little to great.
Quit. It’s not what I normally do. Usually in such situations I cop an attitude and respond with a “screw it” and then do the thing that makes everyone uncomfortable, which would probably be outing myself. Mutually assured destruction isn’t necessarily a deterrent to me. However, this time around, quitting seemed like the most prudent thing to do. By disappearing, quiting the league I could hopefully make me a none-item-of-interest to the team that was theorizing about mwah; if I could just fade away … the guys that groped, grabbed or attempted to steal kisses could hopefully never have to question their own sexuality or self-identity, endure any shit from others, for being nice enough to compliment me from time to time … and those that knew My Function, would hopefully not have to deal with any of the questions about knowing, or did they know, My Function. It’d just be easier, better for all.
I did want to Disclose to my team though.
They welcomed me into their group,
Were nice to me,
And cared for me.
They celebrated my birthdays with me,
Included me in events when otherwise I’d be attending happenings solo,
And always were interested in just how I was doing.
Good, good people.
They deserved to know My Function,
And hear it from me.
After I told them I wasn’t going to be able to return,
By spinning a possible half-truth lie that …
I was moving (the possible part) to be with this guy I was seeing (that’d be the lie part),
(Yeah, I know … a krappy lie. I’m just not good at it.)
We made arrangements to all go out one night,
Which was when I was going to tell them.
Though as I was on my way to the bar to meet them that evening,
They called and had to cancel plans,
So I never got the chance to tell them,
At least yet.
I hope to someday,
As I want to tell them.
Maybe they already know.
When one does the Stealth thing,
Their sensitivities are heightened,
To clue in when someone might be getting wind of their Function.
And in this case,
There was more than one occasion when I thought that at least a couple of those on my team knew.
Though I long ago gave up trying to predict, guess a person’s reaction to Disclosure,
My inclination is that knowing them,
They’d be fine with it,
At least after any initial shock passed,
You never know.
I hope I get the chance to find out.
That’s the decision I made,
It’s also how,
My new bowling team,
Became The New Old one,
And how once again,
I was a bowler without a home.
The first couple of weeks of bowling this year,
The New Old called me !!!
To let me know they were thinking of me. 🙂
I even was able to go see them a couple of weeks ago,
Along with some of the others in the league,
Sliding into the alley,
Trying not to attract to much attention to myself.
I miss them all.
So, so comfortable and fun.
Wonderful, good people.
I was lucky to have the time with them I did.
I don’t think the option stealth is open to me so I won’t try it. Because I would feel exactly what you are describing now. I think woodworking would be the better option for me, though I feel that I do this unconsiously.
I don’t blurt it out, I keep it to myself and just let people see the person who I am. But when people ‘who are in the know’ ask me questions then I answer them. The new people I meet do not know, maybe (probably) they can see it but since I don’t start about it and then they don’t do either, which suits me just fine.
I am going to do something simular. I am going to step into a sport which has only a limit number of women competing (150 or so) at national level. I am stepping into that sports because I love the sport, I can do it all day long. And knowing myself I will train hard to be competitive. Now I am so anxious if the women will become ‘catty’ when I join up in the races or that they will let me be and let me enjoy the sport I love. The first signs are oke, I joined one race last year and when I visit races the women that know me from that one race ask me why I am not standing at the start line. But that was a small meaningless race, I think it will get worse when the stakes are higher. (if you have seen the movie ‘100% women’ then you will get my drift)
I don’t know what to say Amy san…. 🙁
The reality is that if you want stealth, its there, waiting for you, if you choose it. You and I have talked about it. You can do it. You know you can.
The cost of NOT going stealth is the “more than occasional” discomfort of having to deal with these kinds of events. The cost of going stealth is that you have to give up so much social capital in the initial stages. Either one costs something; the question is what you’re willing to pay.
I’m going to call you this weekend, so I can hear ’bout the halloween party. BTW, Greggers is doing better, and, while still in ICU, he is gaining ground. I’ll tell him you said hey…
Yosette has a very good point!!! – ” Give them carefully chosen misleading dabs of information”
That’s what I did when I started work at my new place some 3 years ago. There were so many questions as to why I was going or doing things so out of the ordinary. Why did I not have any history with the (very large) company that I work for, etc, etc. In the end, my colleagues were so bombarded with complicated information that they really wished they hadn’t been so nosey in the first place.
Mind you, taking an extended leave of absence on medical grounds kind of gave things away because it was so noticeable that I was missing. Like many of you, I just assume that everybody knows now but has far too much going on in their own lives to worry about it.
These days, my only real fear is when we all go out “down town” and if I get chatted up. I always wonder how long it will be until somebody decides to do the guy a favour and let him into the big secret. It has happened in the past and boy is it soul destroying.
[Wipes eyes] Aww, sad —
I understand the decision, though.
My own decision to only ever woodwork was partly based on my perception that I’m a little too old and lacking in FFS to pull off more than a shopping trip. Long-term exposure such as you describe here would not be possible for me as stealth. But the other part is, I try to show ’em kindness and hope they’ll just get it and respond accordingly. And they do, I’d say about 146 of the 149 people in my building, for example.
Now, I’m happily married, ‘long as we are doing disclosures, but it’s tough on us ‘cuz she’s straight and, uh, suddenly I’m straight too. So I asked her if a guy asked me out to the symphony, could I go? And she said, yeah, just don’t let him get fresh.
Well, sure, but also, aww, gee!
[heavy emph]All the guys that show any interest in me are gay or bi.[/heavy emph]
Now, we all knew that was gonna happen, RIGHT? And I can take it on the chin. Things been good, got GRANDKIDS, all that.
But a good looking girl with libido — Amy! What the hell we gonna do with you??
Me, it’s ok to run into these sorta troubles, you, NO: a happy Amy or we’re not playing. I strongly agree with Tara. Hang onto every one of the good ones, the I-don’t-care-what-you-are-only-who-you-are people. The rest can go stuff themselves.
I understand the potential rejection-pitfalls (and other dangers). Given my own situation, I hope I don’t come across as a complete buffoon, sounding incredibly niave…
I need to ask the question: If you never give your friends a chance to accept you for who you are, when do you ever get the chance to appreciate the really, really cool ones that Nikki described (in the first comment to your blog)?? Even though it’s an incredibly difficult thing to do…it seems that, in the long run, the risk is worth the payoff. True friends – the wonderfully open-minded and accepting ones – are too rare to let slip away. Life is too short to miss out on the gems….
I absolutely agree with Stephie’s (a) through (d)…there’s a lot to like about you, girl. My point? If someone has trouble dealing with the truth about your function when there’s so much to like about you…well, frankly, that’s their problem…and they’re missing out. …however…I think YOU will find that far more people will cherish your friendship too much to let your function get in the way.
…AND…let me sign on to the “thank you” list, sweetie…I love reading your blogs! I have laughed and cried through many…You have tremendous gift, Amy…and we are all fortunate that you so freely share it with us.
A vacuum draws suspicion. Give them carefully chosen misleading dabs of information and they’ll start a bevy of rumors that you choose. Too many rumors dull suspicion. Best way to avoid suspicion is to inoculate with too much information. Too much boring data dilutes interest. If everyone thinks they know all they ever want to know about you, their suspicion drowns in apathy. OTOH, direct knowledge trumps strategy. If some know, there’s always a risk.
I like to just “forgeta’ bout’ it” I find that if I’m making any concious effort to do anything other than be me, somehow it shows. Most people are not even remotely thinking about anything other than
a)how cute you are
b)how obnoxious you are
c) whata goof you are
d)how fun to be around you are
or any number of other things. People are to self involved and everybody is walking around with some type of baggage or history, good or bad. Think about the person you may have just passed by, maybe they’re thinking gosh I wonder if she could tell I’m _____ (fill in the blank).
In my experience, unless they’re looking for it and some truly are, then they’re usually trouble makers, and if it’s not you, they’ll find somebody with something else to make trouble about. Unless of course they’re part of an elitist stealth outer club, I usually go about life as usual, I learned it the hard way.
I was seeing someone once and I was convinced he knew I was raised differently than most woman, especially since he’d been exposed to people that did know…so I thought I’d bring it about in a very dilute way. Needless to say I should have kept my mouth shut, he never had any idea, in fact it was so left field he just couldn’t believe it…he ultimately didn’t care and actually questioned why I felt the need to tell him that, he liked who I am and what I look like now…not how I got there
Hey Amy, you must have kick started a trend (either that or other people where I work read your blog)
Anyway, I was at work when I wrote my earlier post (skiving as usual) and just as I was logging off, I heard the cry… … “Hey Nikki, d’you want to help make up the numbers for the bowling next Tuesday?”
Could this be a case of Deja vous? I’ll hve to wait and see… …
Hey Marcia … You mean the New Old ??? LOL I don’t know, it’s hard to say … it certainly krossed my mind that some new My Function, but they’ve got new bandmembers … as hard as it is to replace me ;), I know those they got to replace me, and they are super guys … fun people, so The New Old is touring on and doesn’t really need me back. Though I do think that if the opportunity presented itself, they’d let me take the stage with them on occasion and bang away on the drums. 🙂
You raise an interesting point … that awkward stage of wondering if someone knows or doesn’t know … it’s a pain. You never know unless you confront it. In my day to day life, I just always assume they do … it doesn’t really change anything, it’s not like I bring it up in conversation. It just eliminates the wonder, which is nice.
Thanks Stephanie- Wiser words have seldom been spoken. I look back on when I first came out to family and friends and it seems so long ago and as if it’s always been that way.
You know what Kellie … Stephie makes a really good point. Time really does go fast and it does get very difficult, at least for me, remembering that I ever lived any other way. It’s almost as if your own self-history is extremely malleable. I consciously have to remind myself at times that the common friends Joe and I share probably still see some of Joe in me, and the history rewrite might not be as seamless and complete as it is for me, but for me … it really doesn’t seem like I’ve known them other than as Ver 2.0. And honestly, there are times when I totally forget I’m not natal. It’s strange.
Is there any possiblity that the Old New Team knows your function, has known or figured out your function for quite awhile, loves you, and wants you back on the team?
As cliche as it may sound, I try to apply this to everything in my life…
try to enjoy each day for the good it holds, though they’ll be some that will seemingly be unbearable…but you make it through
FWIW the time really does go fast and before you know it you’ll be looking back and hardly remembering you ever lived any other way
Yeah, I knew going in that what I faced would be difficult and often scary, but really, what choice did I have? None that I could see. I have no regrets and each day spent having to do boy by day and girl by night just sucks beyond belief but I’m almost there and I cannot wait. The night before I leave for Chicago, I am having the ceremonial burning of the clothes in which I will pick out one item of boy clothes and up in flames it goes.
You mention your website as a way to help others and I couldn’t agree more. I think those of us who have chosen to share our experiences and perspectives do so as a way of saying thanks to those who have gone before us and as an inspiration to those who follow.
I know that over the years, AmyNews has inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry, given me hope, soothed my fears and most of all let me know that ours is a truly gifted and special life and you know what, I wouldn’t trade my life or My Function as you like to say, for anything in the world. So Amy, thanks girl for sharing and most of all, thanks for being a friend.
My league experience was with APA actually. My problem has always been that towards the end of the night I get really friendly…and well, I don’t think I need to detail that any…
Unfortunetly some of these apply to me:
When we girls drink to much…
1) We have absolutely no idea where our purse is
2)We believe that dancing with our arms overhead wiggling our butt while yelling “woo-hoo” is a sexy dance move
3)(this one is so me) In our last trip to pee, we realize that we now look more like a homeless hooker than the goddess we were just 4 hours ago
5)(also me) We start crying and telling everyone we see we love them soooo much…
6)We’ve found a deeper /spiritual and even sexy side to geek sitting next to us…sigh, been there done that too
7)We fail to notice that the toliet lid is down when we sit to pee…never did this one but I’m sure it’s coming…did the reverse actually, the guy I was with opted out of the “alway’s put the seat down” clause at my house…phucker!
well just to name a few
Yo Yo Kelly !!! Is it easy ??? Nope. Nothing worthwhile ever is. Is it scary ??? Yuhp. Only you can make the decision whether or not it’s worth it and how to make it work for yourself if you do … there’s no such thing as the perfect situation, just making the best out of the situation you find yourself. How’s that for some worthless philosophy ? 🙂 Heck, and I haven’t even been drinking !!! 🙂
I just share my experiences here so others can see what seems to work for me and what I screw up doing, to help ya’ll figure out what might work for you and what might not. Out, Woodworking, Stealth and derivatives, mixtures of such are all individual decisions.
Personally, I think Stealth is the hardest thing to do … and clearly I suck at it. But I know some that are very comfortable with Stealth and don’t get my whole Woodworking approach.
As far as was it worth it for me … heck yes. Definitely. Sure, I have to deal with Function issues from time to time, but if I hadn’t transitioned, I’d probably be having to deal with some relationship I phucked up trying to pretend being a boy. At least this way, when I’m dealing with something, I get to be myself doing it. 🙂
Sigh! I sometimes wonder if I have any idea how difficult the years ahead are going to be. With FFS only seven months away, followed by a new gig at a new school (don’t want to upset the parents at current school, do we?), followed by always afraid of being found out at new school…at what point are we able to finally just live or do we ever get to that point? Alas, I wonder, I really do wonder.
Hey Stephie !!! Wow … I had no idea there were so many Functioning Bowlers !!! 🙂 Yeah, I was fortunate in that I still enforce the No Dating Local Guys rule, so I never really went on a date, date with anyone there … though I was asked out by a few guys there. I did decide that if I was going to return there and attempt to continue Stealth, I’d have been engaged and wearing my fake engagement ring every Wednesday. The problem with that is my poor lying skills … I couldn’t even phreaking remember the name of the guy I made up who I said I was moving to be near !!! Imagine me trying to lie my way through an engagement !!! 🙂
Wow I thought I was reading my own story, with the exception that mine was with a different league. I will tell you how I managed damage control if you’re interested, because I did date some of the guy’s. Since then I have made myself a little less available but I still am on the league.
Thanks Karen, it wasn’t an easy call to make, but tough decisions never are I s’pose. I put it off as long as I could conceivably postpone it too … I guess some personality traits never change ! 🙂
LOL True, some people don’t appreciate the simplicity certain elements of their lives provide. Natals don’t have to deal with some of the krap we have to deal with, however on the other hand, we don’t have to deal with some of the krap natals deal with, plus Functions often get the benefit of having a bit different, oft enlightened perspective on things that others don’t get to enjoy. 🙂 Though just for the record, just because someone is natal, that doesn’t make them normal, some of my natal friends are the furthest thing from normal … probably why I hang out with them ! 🙂
Amy, that is such a sad story. Reading your blog is such a roller coaster ride. You have me laughing out loud one minute and crying the next. Your resilience is to be admired.For what it’s worth I think you did the right thing for all the right reasons.It is a hard enough life we live without having to deal with Krap like this.The “normals” have no idea what they take for granted.
I’m glad your friend was so kewl with thangs ! 🙂 That’s great !!! 🙂
I do think there are more good people out in the world than get recognition. There were several great people involved in the events of this post alone. It’s just good people don’t always get pointed out, and oftentimes don’t want to be, they’re comfortable with their goodness and don’t do it for accolades. 🙂 However, with that being said, I can say I notice, remember and completely appreciate every time I am the fortunate beneficiary of the kindness of a good person.
Excellent description of how you can sort of tell when you’ve been outed … “a sober person trying to act drunk”. Perfect ! 🙂
Wow, I almost cried reading that! Maybe it’s because we can all empathise with your loss. It’s a shame that people feel it’s their DUTY to inform the world of our “Function”. A couple of months ago, I guessed that a friend had been “informed” of my function. (You can always tell when you’ve been outed to somebody. I suppose it’s like asking a sober person to act drunk. They know how to act “normal” around you but just can’t even though they really want to).
Anyway, when I confronted the situation head on my friend explained to me that he was annoyed with the girl who’d told him, not because he felt any differently towards me but because he didn’t feel as though he needed to know. He’d never questioned my gender in the past so to him I was just another woman friend. An amazing man, he told me that he could feel my hurt and how we must feel having our gender stripped from us after working so hard to pass and be accepted.
It’s a shame there aren’t more people like him in the world… …