Sunday, December 23, 2018


"I remember so well the sneaking around I did when I first ventured out of the house. I could write a parody of "A Tale of Two Cities" called "A Tale of Two Genders," based on those days: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." That whole opening paragraph of Dickens' novel sums up the way I felt about myself. It was just a couple of months after my first outing, attending a meeting of the local cross dresser social group, that the holiday season came. I think I attended at least half-a-dozen parties and events with the group, thoroughly enjoying my newly-released feminine-self until I had to sneak back home. Then, I would feel horrible and depressed. It truly did make for a "winter of despair...."

"The shame I had felt for being a tran woman (or whatever I thought I was back then) was nothing, compared to how I felt with all of my conniving and deceit. I likened myself to an alcoholic or drug addict, feeling compelled to do what made me feel good, even at the expense of the love of family and friends. Or, alternately, I would feel as if I were cheating on my wife - with the "other woman" being myself. Even after most everyone else had figured out what I was doing, though, I continued my feeble game.

My game started to unravel completely one year later. I was performing with another trans woman at a New Year's Eve party. It was not unusual for me to be performing at a private party, so I didn't feel like I was really lying so much about what I was doing. Still, out of the guilt I felt for leaving my wife at home while I was celebrating by ringing in the new year, I called her during one of the breaks between sets. She asked, "Is everybody there all dressed up?" I knew then that she knew, just by the way she asked it. Two weeks later, she left a note on the kitchen counter that said she had left to stay with her sister, and she would stay there until I was ready to be honest.

Well, I thought, if she wanted honesty, I was going to give it to her! I called her to tell her that's what I was going to do, and she arrived home to see "the honest me" Sunday afternoon. Of course, in order to be honest with her, I had to be honest with myself. Instead of trying to wow her with my presentation, I dressed in jeans and a sweater, which is what I figured she'd be wearing. I was still not quite ready when my wife came through the door, so she sat down to watch the NFL playoff game that was on the TV. When I entered the room fifteen minutes later, I was surprised at her appearing to be showing more interest in the game than me and my "new look." In fact, I told her that we should wait until the game was over to start our talk! She agreed, and I proceeded to make nachos and a pitcher of Margaritas. All of a sudden, things seemed so normal (even if it was I who was willing to turn off the game, and not her). It was not so normal, really, but it was the beginning of normal. The elephant in the room was gone, and she was able to see me without having to look around it.

What I've learned is that one can't come out successfully until she's come clean. Honesty is really the best policy. Also, there is never a good time to be honest, but putting it off will not make it better or easier; it may well even make it worse.

This is my (Cautionary) Tale of Two Genders. "

Honesty is always the best policy, no matter how painful it is. I didn't practice what I preach though. For years I was dishonest with my deceased wife about what I was doing behind her back.  It's something I will take to my grave feeling terrible about. 
Her comment "Be man enough to become a woman" was one of the more profound phrases I have ever heard.

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