Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for Teaching

The One Who Knows…

I teach mostly beginners; that’s because there’s a huge turn-over in music lessons; kids start and discover that they don’t really like the instrument, or they have zero aptitude for it, or they’d just rather do other things. This means that only one of the students that I currently teach knows that I’m transgndered. He knew me before my transition. He lived through my transition with me. It was difficult for him (at the time hiw mom and I spoke and she said that he felt like he was losing a friend).

So, for all of my other students that I can be coy with about saying that I’m taking a leave of absence or having surgery and they have no idea that I’m having GRS, this one student knows, and it makes him uncomfortable.

So, tonight when I gave him the note about my leave, and he asked why, and I said because I’m having my surgery, he just said, “Oh.” 

And we ignored it for the rest of the lessons, because I’m certainly not going to force the subject in his drum lesson.

And then as he was leaving he wished me “good luck,” which did make me feel a little better.

But overall this made me feel like shit.


More girl stuff

Just a couple stories of more things that I’m getting used to, and that made me smile, and even think about stuff (I’m shocked!  ).

First, yet another “students make me giddy” story. One of my younger students (I think he’s ten) was asking about how people play bigger drum sets (you know, like double bass drum sets and such). I decided to show him a picture from my website to give him an example of a big drum set. The picture I showed him was a pre-gig picture from 2002. I am sitting behind the drum set. As soon as I brought the picture up, I thought “oh crap, he’s going to ask about why I look so different.”

He did ask me a question, but not the one I expected.

He asked, “Is that your boyfriend?”

{uh-oh, think fast rabbit}

So I answered him with the only thing that came to my mind: “Yes. A long time ago.”

Ah, the balancing act that is selective disclosure. It’s a lie, but it’s not a malicious lie. It’s a lie to minimize my own complications in living my life (and, really minimize his complications as well – he sees me for drum lessons, not lessons in gender identity). I don’t know if that makes me not a good tranny activist soldier, but I never wanted to be one of those. I just want to live a happy life, so if my past gets a little blurry in situations where it doesn’t matter, so be it.

The other amazing thing, of course, is that I look different enough that I can’t even be recognized as my former self. That is just wild.

The other story is just from the animal shelter yesterday. I was sitting in the enclosure where Lisette was, playing with her. There were some kids out in the walkway. The man that had let me into the enclosure I was in was talking to the girls, and he said, “…for example, that lady is going to take that pretty cat home…” I didn’t really hear anything else, but my ears perked up at that exact moment.

Obviously, this isn’t a non-event yet, because I still do feel both joy and relief when I am seen as I am. It is getting pretty darn routine, though.

One last thing about the animal shelter. On the application, they asked for info about past pets. I listed Mitzy, who was the American Eskimo Dog that Jayme got for Christmas 2005. One of the questions asked is when and why you got rid of the pet. I put “divorce (spouse kept)” as the reason. And I realized that if it comes down to it I will say that my “ex-husband” kept the dog (I try to stay with “ex,” but sometimes that just sounds too awkward). It’s again about making my life easier. I don’t owe people a whole outing of myself as a bisexual transsexual just to adopt a cat.

It is interesting to find a level of disclosure & honesty that I feel comfortable with in casual intereactions with people. I’m finding that I’m less aggressively honest than I thought I would be. {Obviously, as reading my blog will attest to, I’m not hiding, I’m just trying float through the world without complications when they’re not necessary.}

More over-thinking.

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