How New Was It?
|Photo from Civil War Cemetery. The|
Jessie Hart Collection
During my transgender journey, I considered each hill I climbed and every blind curve I conquered as being a new part of my life.
Looking back at it now, I wonder how new it really was. Through it all, as I learned from all the ups and downs of transitioning I was just being me. The sad part was how long it took me to arrive at the point of my life when I could put my old male self behind me and move on. It was at once so exciting yet terrifying to put all my male privileges away and explore what a feminine life had to offer.
The more I explored the world, the more I learned much of it wasn't new at all. If you are a believer in reincarnation somehow I felt I had been there before. In other words, my transition to a transgender woman felt so natural. I felt as if I should have always been living this way. Even though I felt more and more natural, my old unwanted male self still stubbornly hung on thinking he could make a come back and reclaim my life. I even tried to live between the two main binary genders until the stress became to much to bear and I needed to make a decision. Finally I made the right decision to begin hormone replacement therapy and try to adopt a fulltime life as a transgender woman, without any of the major surgeries some trans women undergo. I just didn't feel the need to subject my body to any major gender surgeries seeing as how I was reaching my mid sixties by that time in my life. I considered myself fortunate in that my body was in good enough condition to accept the rigors of the changes I went through.
Since my main premise through the years was gender was between the ears and sex was between the legs, I opted for more work between the ears. The final straw which broke the camels' back in my transition was when I met my wife Liz going on twelve years ago. Before I met her, I thought the chances of having anyone accept the new me would be nearly impossible. I couldn't believe it when one day, Liz told me why didn't I just go all the way in my MtF gender transition because she didn't see any male in me at all. At that point I knew somehow I could make it another relationship with another person. Let alone another woman. The concept was very new because my previous two wives accepted the fact I was a transvestite but never adjusted to any of the concept I could be transgender. The unexpected turned into reality.
From then on, the adjustment was immense as Liz and I needed to learn to live together as I was adjusting to living in a totally new gender. Ironically the easiest part probably was the gender adjustment I needed to make. When my feminine self was finally freed up to live out of the closet, she took to it completely and without reservations. She proved I should have been listening to her all along. As far as my male self went, he quickly faded into the background and was rarely missed except for situations when I found myself in highly testosterone laden places such as auto shops. In those places, I learned quickly what "man-splaining" was really all about.
It turned out, completing my gender transition wasn't new at all. I had been working my whole life to do it.