Tuesday, September 20, 2022

From the Gender Ledge

 

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

In many ways, this is an extension of yesterday's post. Along the way I mentioned and showed a photo of a guy looking over a steep ledge. My comment was I was at the ledge looking over the edge when I was considering moving away from my old cross dressing male life and moving to a full time existence as a transgender woman. 

Naturally, I was terrified of leaving behind a fairly successful life as a man with a good job, friends and family. I had to prepare myself to lose almost everything I had worked so long for. I had reached the magical moment when white males become privileged citizens by default. On the other hand, I was near retirement age so wouldn't have to worry about finding a new job as a transgender woman. On another hand, sadly, almost all of my close friends had passed away and my parents had long since passed on. All of a sudden the ledge didn't look so steep.

Still remaining were the normal everyday hurdles we face in life. I had to consider even the smallest details of life. For example, I would have to go into male dominated spaces as a transgender woman. Another aspect was how would I present myself to the world everyday. No longer would I have to stress compulsively on how I looked. Thanks to hormone replacement therapy, my whole make up routine was shortened to a point when I only needed a light application of eye make up and lipstick if and only if I was going out. I was always fortunate in that my hair grew on it's own to a point where I didn't have to wear wigs.

I won't sit here and try to tell you jumping off the ledge was easy. Often the landing was bumpy and uneven. The only words of wisdom I would have are to try to stay loose and flexible. Always assume new changes are right around the corner. Just when you thought you had everything figured out. Like when I went with Liz to get my ears pierced. She got her smile on when I protested slightly when the pain hit. For all of you considering piercing your ears don't think it is painful because it is not. I am just a huge baby when it comes to any kind of pain. 

I can't say enough how important it was to me to have formed a strong support group around me when I decided to jump off the ledge. I can't thank them enough. I was able to find them by taking the steps to put myself out in the public's eye. On the other hand, all of them were open minded enough to embrace me as a friend and as a transgender woman. They made my gender landing much softer. 

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