As happens so many times around here, a couple of you regulars bring another sense of clarity to the subject. As in this comment from Connie"
"For me, being a transgender woman involved cross dressing as a means of survival until I could finally express and present myself completely. It was a combination of luck and a lot of hard work. The middle-ground became less and less an option, although I remained there for many years. I could no longer be disingenuous, however, and I believe that those close to me could sense that, as well. Had I been satisfied with occasional cross dressing, I would not have felt myself to be disingenuous.
As I am a musician and performer, I could easily have been a drag performer, but I never saw myself as one. My wife, in our early conversations, thought it to be acceptable for me to combine my "passion" for cross dressing and my passion for performing as an outlet for my gender expression. While music is a passion of mine, however, cross dressing was (and is) not. I was lucky that she came to understand that, but it took some work on my part to convince her. If someone who may have thought I were a drag performer sat through just one set of one of my shows, I think they would recognize that, too. Having the ability and permission to just be myself is all I ever wanted, and I can accept the accolades, as well as the rejection, because of it."
It's important to note she mentioned "rejection". Often the setbacks we encounter in the newly feminine world, are the best teachers.
I can't tell you how many times I was almost reduced to tears from cruel stares, comments, or giggles. Plus I wasn't even on HRT yet, which has driven me to tears for bad and good reasons.
Somehow though, I always found the fortitude to hitch up my "big girl panties" and get back in the game. Finally, I became skilled enough to exist in the world...on my terms.
I also was intriqued by Connie's reference to not being a "Drag Performer." The path was also indirectly open to me and it didn't seem to fit either. Plus, I have no performing talent at all!
Transgender survival in it's truest form. Thanks Connie!