Friday, March 11, 2022

Transgender Validation?

 Over the years and especially in the very beginning, I worked very hard to achieve my validation as a transgender woman. Or, better yet, being validated as a woman at all. To arrive at where I desperately wanted to be, I had to go through many steps...literally.  My example is was when I would practice walking femininely when I perceived I was reasonably alone in larger venues such as big box stores. Even though I was fairly certain I was not being observed, I am sure I probably made a security person's night on occasion. Regardless, I was obsessed with all things feminine. 

My obsession's of course led me into all sorts of clothes and fashion accessories. Money became the biggest concern before and after my wife's death. Before she passed away, I saved all the change and extra money I could to sneak out and shop for new clothes which I was certain would enable me to become the desirable feminine person of my dreams. I became very good at shopping discount racks at stores and going to thrift stores hunting for bargains. The mirrors in more than a few of these stores became my instant friend, for better or for worse. Another example was a powder blue wool coat I fell madly in love with at a certain  coat warehouse store. I went back so many times to try it on I am surprised I didn't get asked to leave. Sadly, I was never able to afford the coat.

Once I was able to afford a few cherished articles of feminine attire, I had to decide how "cherished" they really were and where I was going to hide them from my wife at home, It took me awhile to gather up the courage to use the women's dressing room, so even though I was getting better at sizes, it was still basically taking chances on which clothing's sizes would actually fit. What I mean is, one company's large would be another companies' medium. Plus, I had to go through my "teen girl" years when I tried to wear everything too short or too tight. It was no way to be validated anywhere but in the mirror which was lying to me. 

Now, lets get back to where I could actually put the items I purchased. Fortunately we lived in a big two story 1860's brick I was restoring, so we had plenty of storage space in out of the way closets. Closets that for some reason my wife never looked in. If she had, I am sure all hell would have broken loose if she had discovered the short, flirty tennis outfit I had put together to wear to the mall. All in all I think I probably ended up with three storage closets for my ever increasing wardrobe. 

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

Looking back, I suppose all my obsession with women's fashion was a natural progression in my search for validation as a novice transgender woman. Today, I am more utilitarian in my approach to fashion. With the condition of my ankles there is no way I can wear heels of any height. So my charcoal boots with the one inch heel is the best I can do. The boots go well with my leggings, jeans and sweaters. Now with spring and summer approaching of course I have to shift wardrobe gears back to my collections of tank tops, t-shirts and blouses. I also have two soft maxi dresses which I adore. I save them for the hot summer months. 

 For me, a large part of my transgender validation now comes from the fact my breasts, hair and hips are all mine, From hormone replacement therapy of course. 

I still believe the tipping point for me in my validation came when I discovered I should be dressing for other women, not men. By doing so, I could blend in much easier with society and be accepted. Once I reached that point, my life as a novice transgender woman became clearer. 

Being human (I think) the fascinating part of all of this comes from the fact we are all different. More and more I am learning about couples staying together as one of them transitions. Yet, there are so many others who are forced to face the task of crossing the gender border to play in the sandbox  by themselves. Thus the points of validating your transgender self can be a highly fluid process. 

It's too bad the path to transgender validation can't be easier and more enjoyable. Not one of the most difficult journeys a human can take. 

1 comment:

  1. I wonder how much of our search for validation comes from the inevitable insecurity we experience alongside our dysphoria. It feels as though all my life I have sought external validation, as a singer, as a musician, as a rugby player, as Church member, as a man, then as a cross dresser, later as a transgender woman, and then simply as a woman. In some ways I feel as though I may be nearing a culmination of all this. Now I find my validation much more from my sense of self, and homogenous self no longer in internal conflict.

    I find that with my new found self confidence I can express myself better, in my music as well as in my speech and writing. I now find that I am no longer dressing for men, or indeed women, I am now dressing for the occasion, and quite simply for myself ~ somehow in the process I feel as though my style has improved ~ indeed I feel I do have a style.