No Gender Fear


"Rest Room Selfie" from the
Jessie Hart Collection

On the rare occasion I hear from someone who thinks I was brave for pursuing my gender dreams. First of all I consider the "brave" word should be reserved for those who really deserve it such as those in the military, first responders etc. I was just doing what I needed to do to survive my reoccurring gender crisis stemming from my extreme gender dysphoria.

Looking back, I can vividly remember all of the times I was positively frozen in fear when I was trying for the first time to express my femininity. The times when I felt all eyes were on me when I first entered a new  venue and the walk from the door to where I was going to sit seemed to be at least five miles away. I also felt as if my feet were stuck in sand as I tried to remember to mimic every feminine move. Of course the harder I tried, the more I would mess up. It wasn't until I became more relaxed that I began to do better and enjoy the experience.  

Then, there were the dreaded rest room visits. Since I was known to consume lots of beer, a rest room visit was more than a luxury, it was a necessity. I found out early in the presentation game to beware of women who would quickly follow me into the rest room. When they did, I needed to be especially careful to follow the basic etiquette of using the woman's room. There were so many (and continue to be), all the points would fill another blog post. Again, it took me awhile to settle down and relax before I could even think about being accepted. 

As I climbed the invisible ladder to being a more presentable transgender woman, it seemed the times I experience extreme panic would come and go. Many times I felt how my overall presentation was working dictated the results I was going to experience. Examples included the nights I hurriedly was  sent packing in a lesbian bar I was frequenting. From the well documented time I was forced to sing karaoke with a big butch lesbian in a cowboy hat all the way to another woman who said she ought to pick me up and take me home, my fear set in and I rapidly left the bar. After all, what would my wife say?

As you can tell, fear struck me in many ways. Since I was basically a shy person to begin with, I was extremely intimidated by the idea of talking to another person (woman or man) as a feminine person. On one hand I was flattered they wanted to talk to me but on the other hand what would I say. In those days I still basically was dealing with the usual male life topics such as work and sports. I was truly scared when I came to the communication aspect of transitioning. I never planned ahead because I never considered I would make it this far. When I did indeed scale the gender ladder to a point I could reach the transgender woman level, of course I was scared. Among other things, I was scared of losing my family, friends and living. I was never scared of anything more in my life. 

The farther I went in my gender transition, I was able to put my fear in my past. Mainly because for the first time in my life I knew deep down I was doing the right thing. It wasn't bravery, it was survival.