Sadly many transgender women or men are involved in a seriously lonely journey to live as our authentic gender selves. Along the way a few of us are fortunate and found someone to help us in our transition. I remember vividly thinking I couldn't wait until a cis woman helped me with my clothes and makeup. In my novice mind, helping me to jump start my path to presenting as a realistic woman. What actually happened was she really didn't have much more skill with makeup than I did and I already had most of the clothes I needed so she wasn't really such a big help after all. Plus later on, she tried to hold the whole evening against me when the military came calling with the Vietnam draft. After the evening I more or less went back to being alone on my own transition path.
|Image from Unsplash|
From the point forward I was unable to or did I seek out anyone to provide assistance on my transgender path. Due to timing or trust issues, I never found another cis woman to help me. However, having written that, I did go through a period of being monitored by two wives who knew in advance I was a cross dresser. My first wife was very much a go with the flow type person and she did not add much if any feedback on my appearance. On the other hand, my second wife minced no words and told me what she thought. Rightfully so, I was going through my teenaged look a like crossdressing phase and she had every right in the world to comment on my appearance. The sad part is my phase led to her never respecting my desire to transition into a novice transgender woman. Once again I went out on my own to learn what she meant when she said I had no idea what being a woman was all about. Eventually I learned the hard way what she meant on my own but by the time I did, she tragically passed away. I often wonder if we could have ever made friends woman to woman.
As it worked out, I started nearly immediately following her passing considering how I would pursue my life as a full time transgender woman. What I did was figure out which venues I could go to to be what I called "out by myself". The first realization I made was the so called safe spaces of gay venues was not going to work. At least the male ones where I was treated as a drag queen outcast. I did find a couple small lesbian bars I could go to and had a few very interesting experiences. One night I even had to sing karaoke against my will by a very persistent butch lesbian in a cowboy hat.
Other venues I began to go to were essentially the same ones I went to as a guy. For years I had enjoyed managing and going to big sports themed venues. Give me several big screened televisions and a big draft beer and I was happy. It took a while to be accepted as a regular but once I was I could have a good time. Ironically going out to be alone eventually led me to a small group of cis women who for the first time in my life provided me with feminine role models I could learn from and be around so my transition wasn't so lonely.
Overall, even though my path proved to be a successful one thanks to so many women later in life like Liz of course,. I wish I could reclaim the time I spent alone when my only path was between the mirror and me. The mirror proved to be an overall liar in that it told me only what I wanted to hear or see. In the end result the mirror couldn't help me stay off my lonely transgender path.