Tuesday, February 21, 2006

easy money

Spent a great weekend with my friend Kate and her family, which was lovely, and delightful, and (naturally) caused a number of things to percolate through my brain.

For one thing, her family (particularly her mom) is wonderful, and supoprtive, and I know they respect me and my identity. And they call me Eli and 'he' quite consistently...except her mom still calls me Em, about a third of the time. She doesn't mess up my pronouns, and she often says Eli, but she still says Em sometimes. and...weirdly...it doesn't really bother me. Which is quite unusual. I'm generally not a fan at all of people continuing to use holdover names from my past.

I mean, sure, I like it better when she says Eli, but I think because I know she's trying, and I know that she genuinely supports me and wants the best for me, it doesn't hurt when she says Em. I think it would be a different matter if she used my entire (and quite a bit more feminine) given name- there's a lot more kneejerk flinching attached to that name for me these days.

But I used Em for quite a while when I was in a transitional period, and hell, part of the original impetus for my first choice of name [Eli Michael...now probably Elliott Michael, although possibly Elliott Charles, or Elliott Michael Charles, though still to go by Eli everyday- more on this later] was to keep the EM so that it could be okay if people still called me Em (EM) for a while.

Of course, as Annabelle (my therapist) subsequently pointed out, it's not, after all, strictly necessary for me to try to tailor my life/identity/transition in order to make life easier for other people, and that if I wanted to be called Eli, then the people who loved me could darn well call me Eli. Which is true, and which is mostly happening now, and I'm pretty much standing up for myself these days. Which is why I'm so surprised that it didn't bother me when Barbara Jean called me Em this weekend.

I think the moral of it, as with most things, as I was writing even in my last entry, is that I can let a lot of things slide, or accept more reminders of my history and differences, when I feel safe and secure and respected as a guy.

The other other major thought, as my Billy Joel subject line references, came from a discussion we had about my plans for chest surgery this summer, if I can swing it financially. (I really do need to get down to making up a budget for that and seeing if I'm deluding myself about how soon I'll be able to make this happen. Anyway.) Kate said she and her brother would start a rockband so they could have a benefit concert for me, and I was touched. and Barbara Jean said I should hold a raffle- Kate suggested I raffle off dates with me, but I'm not sure that would be a particularly good fundraiser. Maybe I could raffle off homecooked meals, or karaoke dedications, or something. Which reminds me of all the other ways I've heard about guys getting $$ for their surgeries, and I know people do it all the time (though to what degree of success, I'm not sure). and I know that when I have my maniversary party in April, one way or another I'm going to end up asking people for donations to my 'plastic surgery fund' as we call it here at work.

It just raises all these conflicting feelings in me. I want so badly to be able to afford surgery this summer, and there's certainly no way to do it without going further into debt, and it sure would be nice to be able to raise more money and borrow less.

But I feel real bad about taking money from people, though. There's a lot of people in the world a lot worse off than me who need things a lot more badly, and who am I to be asking people for money to make myself happier?


KB said...

Hey, welcome to the blogger universe. I'm really enjoying all your writing here, your prolific output puts my oft-neglected blog to shame.

If you do raffle off dates with you, I would buy lots of tickets. Even if it had to be a phone date. I imagine the competition for that raffle would be pretty fierce.

I miss you. I will try to call soon or something.

Eli's hot twin sister said...

dude, i am going to start thinking up money making schemes right now, in addition to working out how I am going to convince/force you to take whatever left over student loan money I end up with after this year at OSU. you can't compare your needs with other people. yes there are people who need money for important things, organ transplants, live saving drugs, food to keep them from starving to death.. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN that you should downplay how important it is for you to down whatever it takes to make yourself feel alive and complete. ok?! the empathy you have for others and your concerns about how this process affects others are very admirable and gentlemanly, but no one who loves you is ever going to think you are selfish or foolish to fight for your right to get chest surgery.

Brians83 said...

I'm a little/a lot late to finding your blog. In fact I'm not entirely sure how I got here. Last thing I recall is traipsing about the ftm lj community tags for info about top surgery prep and here I am.

I landed on some of your recent posts and liked your POV and writing style. So I decided to start at the beginning of your blog. I have to say so much of what you've written resonates with me and mirrors my thoughts and internal conflicts during the early part of my transition. (ie. guilt about self-absorption and especially how I felt about close family members or friends using my old name).

I haven't been giving much in-depth thought to my transition over the past few months (maybe year) because Being on T since 05 and functioning in life unquestionably as male released my focus to other things in life related to being in your 20s and out of college.

Also because I hit a huge roadblock on my way to surgeries. Well this year all the closed doors have been opened and transitioning is back in the forefront. To help process the magnitude of attaining these long sought after goals I'm revisiting my early transition experiences through my blog (lifeobrian12983@livejournal.com) and retracing the steps of other guys from similar walks.

Anyway that was a ridiculously long way to say, "hello, I really like your posts and I'm attempting to read your entire blog. Hope you don't mind."