I am relatively certain there are not many transgender women or trans men who haven't burned a few personal bridges on their journey to finding their authentic selves. I thought of this topic yesterday when I was watching a television show on the PBS network. The episode partially revolved around the main character and bridges. I am far from a structural engineer but I vaguely understood the concept of bridges needing tension on both sides to succeed in their duties of carrying traffic to the other side.
|Image Credit Romeo Varga|
Immediately I equated the concept of bridge tension with the gender tension transgender people feel as they attempt to straddle the two main binary genders. What more tension could a human face and conquer? For many, including me, relieving myself of the gender pressure led me to burning bridges in my life. In fact I was notorious for being self destructive and burning my bridges so I couldn't return. Often the flames were so high I lost tract of where I was. Especially when I began to go into my own restaurant venue dressed as my feminine self. Thinking I wouldn't be recognized. Of course I was and it didn't take long for the gossip to spread about me. Not the smartest idea I ever had.
Deep down I am sure now, I wanted the world to know my secret of wanting to live a feminine lifestyle full time. Regardless of the risks involved of discovery I forged ahead with trips outside of my house which had the potential to ruin the male life I struggled so hard to build. On the other hand, everytime I took a chance to leave my closet and live a new exciting life, I felt so natural. Which in turn led me forward to more intensive trips out of my closet. I guess through it all, I was experimenting how I would build my new life when and if the time came to live it. In many ways it was when the true challenges began.
As I rebuilt my transgender bridge, I had to guess at and then build my bridge to fit the process. How would I ever learn how to blend in and then communicate with both genders once my bridge was built. Again and again I conquered my fears and set out to live. I learned the hard way the inner communication rules of women and for the most part the fact men didn't want much to do with me except to treat me as some sort of a fantasy object. Which was the furthest thing on my mind. I only wanted to be validated as a woman in my own mind.
Over time, I began to become very good on how I built my new bridge. After more errors than successes my life suddenly became so much easier and again so natural The entire process slowly but surely reinforced in my mind how much I never wanted to cross back to my old life of cross dressing and doing my best to act like a male.
Years later I have been able to stop burning my bridges. I was able, thanks to many others, who helped build in supports to my life as I learned and went along. Another way of saying my own personal infra structure was sound and I could move forward as a secure transgender woman.