A Brave New Gender World

 Recently I wrote a post describing briefly how big a deal gender actually is.  Coming out from one gender and living in another can only be described as a shock to the system which also takes a lot of work. I remember completely how many times when I first was exploring the feminine world, I was a dismal failure. No matter how many times the mirror told me I was doing well with my presentation, I found there was so much farther to go. 

Photo from the Jessie
Hart Archives 

One of my problems was putting my feminine image in motion. Walking the walk was very difficult for me. I needed to practice many many times walking in heels and/or other female footwear before I finally began to feel comfortable. Lessons learned included nearly breaking my ankle in a mall one day when my stiletto heel became stuck in a sidewalk crack. Luckily, no one else seemed to notice my complete embarrassment. Other times I practiced included walking around home and even late at night in deserted big box stores. I was trying so hard to develop a walk which fit what I was wearing without appearing too outlandish. 

Other problems I encountered were (as I always bring up) dressing to blend in the world. Once I did my life in my new chosen gender began to change. It was difficult deciding which wig I wanted to be my primary hair style. Which became ultra important as I began to see the same people over and over again. I was amazed how outgoing the world in general and other women specifically became when I saw them. During that same period of time also was when I had to seriously consider what to do about my voice. What happened was, I became bored with going to the same stores and malls where there was no real challenge to being accepted as my new authentic self.  What I did was begin to take the extra steps and began to stop in places for lunch. Once I did, after I behaved myself and tipped well, I fairly quickly became a regular. As a matter of fact too quickly in many cases. I simply was not prepared for the interactions I was finding myself in. My problem was I wanted to be friendly and learn more if I was doing my "woman thing" correctly. I needed to learn feminine communication skills along with trying to do the best I could with my voice as soon as possible. 

As far the voice went, I tried my best to mimic the range and tone of the person I was talking to. Then try to remember it the next time I tried to communicate with anyone. I tried to make the whole process habit forming which was all well and good until I had to go back to my old boring male self. Years later I did take professional vocal lessons at the VA (Veterans Administration) which I still use till this day to improve my speaking skills. Little did I know, just learning how to sound more like a cis woman when I was talking was only the beginning. As with nearly everything else they do as humans, women communicate in a much more layered, complicated system than men. I needed to go back to communication 101 and learn all the nuances of feminine communication. Including non verbal communication all the way to dealing with passive aggressive personalities. I knew going in to all of this brave new world I was facing, what women said versus what they meant were often two different things. Now I was seeing a whole different view of the process.

I can't begin to say how terrifying yet exciting my journey into a brave new gender world was. I believe I am a better person for the experience and certainly much wiser.