If 2007 was a year of enormous mental changes for me, can I anticipate that 2008 will be a year of enormous physical or social changes? I don’t know. Is there anything special about the transition from one calendar year to another? In my line of work (higher education), everything works off the school year, or Sept 1 through May 30, with summer occupying a special budgetary category that’s neither fish nor fowl, and I have found that my yearly clock seems to be synchronized to that academic clock.

And while it’s not a perfect fit, my GID and how I’ve dealt with it overlays a lot more nicely onto the academic year than the calendar year. I began my slide into depression about the beginning of the 2006-7 schoolyear, and began the upward swing of acceptance by myself and Mary Jo at the beginning of the 2007-8 schoolyear. The end of this schoolyear is likely to coincide with my coming out to pretty much everyone I know, followed by an academic year of dormancy (leave of absence), during which I can hopefully get Joyce refined and ready for her public.

I actually think it is probably better to not try to attach any seasonal meaning to crises like these, not because it’s a bad thing to mark the passage of time, but because we have a tendency to use the calendar (and to over-rely on it) to provide meaning for the patterns in our lives. And when we use the calendar instead of our own sense of the right action at the right time, we sometimes make decisions that are premature or late.

Am I allowing the academic seasons to dictate my changes? Is there any reason May 30 is an appropriate time to come out to everyone? Why not April 3rd? Or January 20th? Or June 27th? Ultimately, I think I need to be aware of my own seasons and my own motives and try not to be swayed by dates on a calendar.

My own reasons for preferring May 30th probably stem from fear of scrutiny by undergraduates, graduate students, colleagues, and the general university population that I have to encounter this spring semester, whether presenting as a man or a woman. And while it might be a noble and courageous thing to choose to begin presenting female in the middle of this spring semester, it seems like an unnecessarily dramatic thing to do.

And I suppose this observation lies at the heart of my transition. Not being a terribly dramatic man, can I envision myself being a dramatic transsexual, or a dramatic woman? One of the things I want to avoid is being a drama queen. Not only has it been specifically forbidden by Mary Jo herself (along with blue eyeshadow), but it simply doesn’t feel like me. So what is this waiting until no one is around to begin presenting as female all about? Is it a prudent plan undertaken by a prudent, non-drama queen? Or is it planned avoidance of a necessary public outing?