Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy



As I child, I once had the opportunity to look into a kaleidoscope and was mesmerized by the exquisite patterns that changed at the turn of the disk. Patterns we would seldom see in real life, except for the intense beauty of a formerly undiscovered butterfly, bird, fish… 

Kaleidoscope picture with vivid coloursThe word kaleidoscope is from the Ancient Greek, meaning, “observation of beautiful forms.”

Lately, I find myself doing more and more introspection, looking into the kaleidoscope of my life, turning the disk with its various multicoloured trinkets this way and that, hoping in vain to observe just one of those beautiful forms that I can identify with, reflected in the mirrors of my current existence.

The digits 60

Maybe it has to do with turning 57 a few days ago, but I see a big 60 reflected back at me from the black tubular interior, reminding me that I am sliding downhill inevitably towards this milestone.

Maybe it is my ongoing struggle for reasonable accommodation at work for my hearing impairment that makes me see the 9 years I have till retirement, shaping into ? years as I fear losing more and more of my residual hearing and end up completely deaf, unable to provide for my family.

Homer Simpson without clothes

Maybe it is my ever-losing battle of the bulge that have the shards and fragments fall into a naked Homer Simpson, as I steadily keep avoiding looking into any mirrors.

Maybe it is because I miss and need my therapist, who had emigrated from South Africa, that I am unable to find similar reflection of my thoughts and dreams in the substitute’s therapy method.

No matter how I turn or shake it, the objects in my kaleidoscope keep tumbling into an anything-but-arbitrary pattern that mocks me with its naked inevitability: A pathetic Sancho Panza on a donkey, fighting transgender windmills without even the backup of a Don Quixote.

Sancho Panza

Note: I debated long and hard with myself whether I would publish this post or not. In the end the acute reality of my emotions won. I know all the counter-arguments: “Why do you keep harping on the same cord and do not move on?” “You should be grateful for what you are and have…” Fact is, the world is just as real as one’s own mind.

PS. I realize that the octopus of depression is strangling me even tighter in its tentacles than before and I am seeking professional help.


Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

16 thoughts on “Kaleidoscope

  1. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time of it. No stranger to depresssion myself, I know just how hard it can hit you. I hope you’ll find the help you need. Sooner rather than later. Take care, buddy!


    • Thanks, chum. My doc upped my meds and I am making slow but steady progress at work with my reasonable accommodation for my hearing disability request. Otherwise, I have not quite come to acceptance of living in an in-between gender state. Lots of debate about that going on among the people in my head! 🙂 At least they are debating and have not given up. 🙂 Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough space. I hope you find a good therapist and that it all gets a little easier!


  3. Kris, I wish I had a magic phrase that would make reality align with your kaleidoscope but I don’t have it. All I can say is that a lot of us are struggling with this too so you’re not alone. I got in my car tonight to come home from work and realized that I was angry all of a sudden. What’s that about? Why am I so angry? Nothing happened to make me angry. And I’m sad too. Sad and angry. I have so much to be thankful for, yet I’m sitting in my car being angry and sad over…what? Something I can’t define or touch or do anything about. I’m actively trying to reinvent myself so my kaleidoscope is in alignment but nobody really knows it but a few people and they really wish I’d forget about all this nonsense and go back to being normal again. Yes, this sucks. And not having a support system makes it worse. I’m glad you wrote this post. You need support. We all need support. We might not be much but here you can be yourself without fear. Sending you a big bro hug!


    • Thanks for your comment and the very welcome hug, Shawn. Having online support means a lot to me in this in-between world where I have to act “normal” as a female. Here in the blogosphere at least I can be Kris among the small brotherhood of trans men who understand that we are thankful for what we have, but that getting some sort of validation from “the others” will mean the world to us. Take care of yourself and I hope you get support in working through your emotions as well. A big bro hug back at ya! 🙂


  4. For the longest time I believed that what I was seeing in a kaleidoscope was simply another world. Then I grew up a little bit and realised it wasn’t. Then I grew up some more and realised it was.

    … keep on truckin’, my friend.


  5. It definitely sounds like you are in the grips of depression, and hope that you can find a therapist to help you with it. In some ways it is the perpetual problem of being invisible and all too visible at the same time – clearly not a straight woman but also not your run of the mill Ellen lesbian.
    And here is the trap, do we talk about ourselves as women or not? Part of me wants to say that there is no place in our society for women who are not trying to be attractive to men or who are not procreating (having babies). Masculine women (unless they are prize athletes or CEO’s) are scorned. And certainly no place for women who really want on some level to be men – or who live their lives in that dual way (experience themselves as male but are viewed as female). I feel like there is very little room to be who I am openly – I feel some condescension from people in their 20’s who are transitioning, and some freezing out from the gay community for jumping ship.
    I really just want to be myself but find it a continuos struggle to do that in a public/work/community setting.


  6. Keep doing what you can. It is super hard, when you win again you will be super strong. I’m with ya 🙂 Xx


  7. Interesting but accurate description- the octopus of depression strangling with its tentacles. That octopus is running rampant right now and I’m getting mighty sick of it.

    I’m not going to tell you to let it go, look on the bright side, or anything else like that. Sometimes you are stuck and I really do believe that everything happens for a reason. You appear to be very aware of where you are and when it’s time, something will shift. Until then, stay mindful and keep fighting the fight! We are all just doing the best we can.