It Takes a Village

Virginia Prince in 
the 1940's
 I am sure over the years you have heard the term "It takes a village" to describe the best way to raise a child. I think the phrase is especially true when it comes to negotiating a gender transition. You regular readers know how often I mention the lack of transgender mentors we had as we each tried our best to cross the binary gender divide. As with most of you in the same senior age category I am in, mutual contacts were very difficult to come by. 

Fortunately later in life, my contact group expanded and I was able to take advantage of my new peer group. It all started with me when I discovered "Virginia Prince" and her "Transvestia" magazine. As I remember, it was published every two months and I couldn't wait to receive my new edition. Of primary importance to me were the announcements of regional transvestite "mixers". One of which was within driving distance to me where I lived in Ohio. Naturally, I couldn't wait to attend one of the mixers if I could get the trip approved by my wife. Finally she went along with the idea and she even helped me to try to pick out an outfit to wear. 

Regardless of our disagreements on what I thought I should wear versus her ideas, I went and I learned. Most likely the biggest lesson I learned was the different layers and types of the other attendees I met. Every layer from the so called beautiful mean girls to the overtly masculine cross dressers and me in between. I just didn't feel comfortable in either group. 

It wasn't until much later in life I finally discovered why. When the transgender term was introduced, I knew then I discovered an idea I could identify with. I felt that surgery wasn't the driving force in my quest to live a feminine existence but the mere fact of being able to live as my authentic self was. And the authentic self proved to be my inner woman. 

During her path to the surface, she received quite a bit of help. It took the village I mentioned to enable her to finally break free. I don't mention enough the group of cis women who embraced me when I came out of my gender closet. Then, after the first group, there was a second circle (as I like to call them) who helped me solidify my new life and move on. I will mention them more in another blog post. 

In the meantime, even though it took me years to realize it, a village was welcome and needed for me to find my way to a life I really wanted to lead. As a full time transgender woman.