As I mentioned in a recent post, often I regret waiting so long to cross the transgender frontier and live as my authentic self.
Most of you regulars probably know I am seventy two years old, considered myself to be a crossdresser for over a half a century and did not start to transition seriously until I was in my early sixties. At that point in time I started hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
As many of you know, especially of the same age bracket, the world we grew up in has changed drastically for the best in the transgender community. The biggest changes came with the advent and advancement of the internet. I remember vividly the first time I made contact with another like minded person on our home computer. I also remember the pain and suffering I went through when my wife found out. I had no idea the computer kept track of where I went to but she did. As always I tried to ride out the problem and rearrange our life once again. I reestablished myself and set my next goal, to make an excuse to buy a combination printer/copier/fax machine so I could send pictures.
By this time in my life, I did know and had met other transvestites at mixers I had went to, so the computer was just another tool to advance my knowledge. All of a sudden, there were chat rooms and search engines which could further my research into who I was as I walked the fine line hiding my info from my wife. Which didn't work forever of course.
Keep in mind also, the whole word "transgender" was a new term. For the most part, there was the "transvestite" word which roughly aligned with cross dresser and then "transsexual" which meant you were planning to pursue sex change surgery (as it was known as) then move away never to be seen again. The problem with that was as a transgender generation we lost most all of our potential role models.
Looking back now, these years were a blur for me. I spent most of my life trying to outrun my gender dysphoria. Taking what opportunity I could to see if I could truly understand what a woman went through in her life and seeing if I could do it too. Even though I was a good student of the feminine binary gender, I felt like an outsider looking in, and was.
It wasn't until the 1980's when I started to seriously explore an everyday life as a woman. I would jump at any opportunity to do errands such as the grocery shopping while my wife was at work. The more I was able to do, The more I did, the more natural I felt and for the first time began to consider I was much more than a cross dresser.
The next milestone I reached in my gender transition was when I had to begin to communicate with the public as a woman. Of course I was paranoid about my voice but then I learned the keys to gender communication I write about so much. During the whole process I was slowly aligning my inner feminine self with the person the public interacted with.
Once I did it, the long wait was worth it. In no way was I waiting lessening my standing as a transgender woman. I was making the best of life's situations as they presented themselves. I totally dislike it when a trans person attempts to say they are more trans than another. As a community we have all the layers as society does and we need each other.
My fondest desire is the younger transgender persons of today have the freedom to explore themselves and don't have to wait as long as I did to live as their authentic selves.