|Image from the Jessie Hart|
My journey to living my dream as a transgender woman admittedly took a long time.
Too long to many who blame me for waiting so long and tried to say I was somehow less transgender than they were. Which of course, I immediately dismissed. After all after I had spent nearly a half a century to achieve my goals, who were they to question me anyhow. Also, they dismissed me since I turned my back on any possible gender altering surgeries. My reasons included not wanting to undertake any serious surgeries at my age. I was in my early sixties when I decided to undergo HRT which I still call "Hormone Replacement Therapy.' Since I understand has been relabeled in some circles. It's interesting in that the topic this week of my Veteran's Administration group session this week included two full pages on just transgender related labels from over the years.
Then, there was always the matter of trying to properly present my feminine gender in a brave new world. Along the way, a trans woman friend of mine told me I passed out of sheer willpower. Which I took to mean, I was going out in the world doing the best I could and I would learn as I went along. Similar to on the job training. As I continued my on the job gender training, I learned the hard way, the more I learned the more I needed to learn.
I was fortunate in that my entire life I made observing women a priority. By doing so, I had a head start when it came to surviving in a new world. Even though I had made major strides, I found I could not learn enough to overcome all of the obstacles I would face. The main one was to be worried about my own personal safety. Looking back, it was the main male privilege I lost when I transitioned. There were many more but none where I had my safety questioned several times by stray men.
For some reason, destiny led me into the company of lesbians when I was included into a small circle of friends I socialized with. With them, I learned to be an observer more than an active participant until I began to gather my confidence. From there I learned also how women don't need a man for verification. It was during this period of my life my gender countdown really became faster. I began to make up for lost time.
Perhaps the final and biggest push to my countdown came when my future wife Liz told me I should complete my MtF gender transition. She told me at the time she had never seen anything male about me at all. Finally the doors were opening for me to live my transgender dream. To celebrate, Liz was with me the night I took the first minimal HRT dosage.
The only regret I have on my countdown, is I put myself through so much torment before I completed it. (To my specifications.) I could have saved myself another suicide attempt as well as other unpleasant possibilities My gender countdown would have come to an unpleasant end. .