Gender Puzzle

 As we follow our transgender journeys, we encounter many walls to climb over or run around. In my

case I have described my path as one of being similar to a mouse in a maze. When I would hit a wall, I just had to step back and try to overcome way or another. Sometimes it seemed I was just hitting my head against a wall which would never move.

Normally I would usually discover I was just being stubborn about how I was approaching the matter. Another example would be when I finally decided the way to succeed in a feminine world was to dress for them and not men. Perhaps it's unfair to men but when I was dressing for them, I had a tendency to ending up more trashy than classy. Public doors really began to open for me when I quit trying so hard. 

Even still it seemed I was caught in the giant puzzle which was my gender. Once I began to succeed in presenting a positive feminine image, then I had to become very serious in building a feminine persona to go with it as I attempted to align my authentic self with my exterior image the world saw.

Problems came fast and furious at the beginning as I had to adjust losing my male privilege, During the rare occurrences I would be involved in conversations with men, I had to react quickly to becoming a second class citizen and basically wait to speak when I was spoken to. I will say now I am more self assured and confident in myself and will stand up for my point of view. I just rarely have the opportunity to do it.

The other main issue I had was picking up on and reacting to the different ways women communicate with each other. There were many evenings I went home thinking what that really what another woman meant when told me something basically with her eyes. An example was one night when I was approached by a guy at a bar where I was a regular. With only a glance I picked up on her visual warning to stay away. I also learned quickly not to necessarily take at face value what another woman was telling me. It was a good way to get a knife or claw marks down your back.

Once I had solved those pieces of the gender puzzle, then I was faced with perhaps the biggest challenge of all, what was this new feminine person I was discovering be like. After all, she had waited years for her turn in the world.  Since the stage was hers, what would she do with it. 

As it turned out, she was able to do more than she ever imagined. With the help of several other strong women, she was able to come out of her shell and seemingly fill in the last remaining pieces of her gender puzzle. Of course as I write that I realize my gender puzzle won't be complete until my final transition (death). All I can do is hope for the best.

Looking back, fulfilling my gender puzzle were equal portions of terror and excitement.  Terror at facing yet another wall and excitement at moving around it. Yes, there were plenty of tears shed along the way mixed in with smiles and laughter.

Neither ruined the puzzle.