So I came out today.
Today is officially my second day back at school. So I've now had all of my classes once. They all seem really great (I don't want to jinx that, though). The professors are approachable, want to learn names, seem to be caring individuals. My guess of their age (granted, my age guesstimations are not so great) is that they're all probably in their 30s.
Anyway, of the four courses I'm taking (most of which are very much off of the beaten path), I'm taking a Sociology class. This is the first time I'm taking a Sociology class. I love it. The course is titled "Sociology of Gender." I originally was going to take the Psychology of Gender, but decided I'd rather take the Sociology one. Score. I'm happy with my decision.
Near the end of class, the professor of my sociology class, I'll call her Maya, said that if we had any questions or anything about the class we could just go up to the front of the room to speak with her at the end of class. Then, as if a footnote or anecdote or whatever, said "Feel free to come up and introduce yourself to me. That'd be great"...again, she wants to know everyone's name.
I got up slowly from my seat, wondering if I had the courage to go up and talk to her. I put on my coat, backpack, and purse and got up out of my chair. I already did my routine check to make sure I wasn't leaving any items behind, and headed for the doorway. It felt like I was doing this in slow motion because I couldn't decide. I was literally torn in two in terms of having to make this decision.
And then I decided to grab the bull by its horns.
I went up to the front of the room. One person was just finishing up talking to Maya and then another person talked with her, also for not very long. Then it was my turn. First she asked my name, I said my girl name and shook her hand as she said "I'm (Maya), nice to meet you." I think I said that back, though I can't honestly remember at this moment. I don't remember because that part of the conversation wasn't as fulfilling as what was to come.
I looked around. There was a small cluster of kids talking but they seemed to be into their own thing. I lowered my voice a little and said "I haven't decided if I'm going to say anything, like publicly or whatever, or mention it in class officially. But the reason I wanted to take this class is because I've been questioning my gender." Pause. Breathe, Eli. Breathe. She answers that "Whenever we talk about gender and sexual identities" [that's one of the big topics of the course...we have maybe 6ish big topics? I don't know. Again, a guesstimate.] "We're going to be doing a reading written by Kate Bornstein--"
Before she finished,
Me: Oh my G-D, I love her.
Maya: Oh! Have you read any of her writings before?
Me: Yes, they're so good. She's amazing.
(I probably seemed really enthusiastic and eager at this point).
(I can't remember if she said something at this point or not). (This part is sort of fuzzy in my head but its the gist of what was said in our exchange).
Me: So....yeah. I just figured I'd say that. Because, yeah. I mean, I don't know if I'll say that in front of the class, but figured I'd let you know.
Maya: Thank you for telling me. Well, if you want any resources, just ask. I'm sure I have more resources and I know of good friends who could talk to you. Some who have already transitioned.
Me: Thanks, that'd be great. And yeah, my parents dont know.
Me: I haven't told them. I'm not really in a--
Maya: Supportive environment?
Me: Well, my family...they're not so open about this stuff.
I forget what was said then.
But she basically was totally on board with the whole thing. And I don't know for sure if I'm remembering correctly or if I'm merely fantasizing of what I want to happen, but I thought she said that if I ever wanted to talk I could talk to her? I can't remember if she said that. It might just be what I wanted to hear.
Anyway, she's completely awesome about it. It was nice and chill. She didn't like throw her hands in the air and make a big deal out of it. Not that I thought she would, but still, its nice when people don't make a big deal out of it. Its not meant to be a drama-starter.
It just is what it is.
Then I told her that I know of a poem that I just love called "How to Make Love to a Trans* Person," explaining how it throws assumptions of bodies, sex, and gender out the window. She asked for me to bring it in to her and she said maybe we'd read it in class (is it too explicit for that? I know I'm in college, but I don't know?...) or she'd copy it and add it to OnlineName (what professors at my school use to post handouts/short readings, announcements, etc.) to add on to the reading list. :). Yay and I was all smiles.
I am so happy that I told her. And maybe sometime I'll have the guts to sort of fully come out to her. I don't know why I said "I question my gender" rather than saying I'm trans*. Well, no, that's not true. I know why I didn't say that. Then she may think that I fall into the assumed role of a "classic" transgender--a female-to-male. Which I'm not. I identify with the male gender currently, but I am not nearly what the "classic" transgender individual is thought to be.
That'd be cool if I could like sit down and talk to her about it. Maybe during her office hours I could walk in and ask if we could talk about. Or I'd email ahead of time (I'll draft the email and post it here for comments before sending it to her) and ask if I could go to her office hours to speak about this. I mean, I know this isn't *really* class related (right?), but I dont know, maybe she'll understand.
...understand that the majority of the time, support is hard to come by, especially when one identifies as transgender.
And since I'm in the closet, well, I don't know. Maybe she'd understand. I'm going to try not to get too wrapped up in it but I'm so happy. And maybe I can talk to her?