Sunday, February 19, 2023

Transgender Runners

Photo from the 
Jessie Hart Archive

Rarely in my life have I ever considered myself a runner in any shape or form. In fact, the only times in my life I have done any sort of serious running were when I was in the Army or playing football. These days I think of myself as another sort of runner.

When I look back at all of my frenetic job moves to various parts of the country, I wondered why I pursued such a different path than say my Dad or younger brother who in the case of my Dad lived in the same town his entire life and worked the same job most of it. My brother followed the same path since in his formative years he was able to escape any military training.  I can't blame my vastly different path exclusively on being transgender but it certainly helped.

I started my path to separating from home when I went away to college and ironically the dramatic cutting from home ties caused me not to think anything about my gender issues for six months or so. In the long term scope of things, not a dramatic long term pause but significant in that it was one of the few times in my life I quit worrying about my gender. Moving forward, the process of moving out and meeting new people helped my well being when I had to find my way in the military. Which, by the way, did absolutely nothing to suppress my gender dysphoria. In fact, if anything, the process of military training made everything worse because I resented having to be there at all.

After I was honorably discharged from the Army, my gender issues increased as I had the freedom to explore more deeply how far my femininity went. At the same time my running increased also. I tried moving from my native Ohio to the urban jungle of NYC, then back to the heavily rural area of Southern Ohio. All of the sudden I was doing the grocery shopping (unknown to my wife) dressed completely as a fashionable woman of the 1980's. With big hair and short skirts. One day I did so well, I drove a grocery bagger boy to stutter and asked me if I needed help to my car all the way to when I encountered by accident my wife's boss in a parking lot outside of a big box store. A venture I came to regret when he mentioned seeing a "big redhead" that day when he went to the store. She of course mentioned it to me and asked if I was out sneaking around.  It took awhile for all of that crisis to blow over. Finally it did and I sought out another job and indirectly more transgender adventures somewhere else. This time I settled on fairly nearby Columbus, Ohio. In the recent past I had several fond memories of cross dresser and/or transgender mixers I attended and wondered if I could have more. Plus, Columbus was close enough to my wife and I's hometown so I could move my wife back home. 

During this portion of my life you could say I was trying to outrun my gender issues. By going to NYC and even Columbus, I was attempting to help myself by moving to more liberal situations with more to do. 

Finally, I learned to live with myself and I quit running. Even though my life of running led me to many interesting situations, mostly positive, I grew tired of the process and my transgender running ended.

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