|Image from the|
Jessie Hart Collection.
Our topic today in my Veterans Administration group concerns the trials and tribulations of coming out, or letting others in to our authentic selves.
When I think back to my process of letting others in to me, I have a tendency to just zero in on two people, my daughter (only child) and my only sibling, a brother. To make a long story short, my daughter was very accepting and my brother was the opposite. In fact, I have not talked to him to this day. Sad but true. Overall, the real staging process came way before I came out or let some one in.
In truth, I came out in stages when I experimented with testing the public as my novice feminine self. Thinking back, my first attempts at "showing off" came during Halloween parties. I started, predictably enough, with trying to dress as sexy as I could and telling everyone my "costume" was a prostitute. Over the years of trying, I slowly evolved into just trying to present well enough at the parties for others to think I was a cis-woman. As even that worked for me, it was time to consider my next move or stage I was going to.
What I decided on was I couldn't stand to wait another year to be in the public's eye as whatever label you wanted to attach to me. Cross dresser, transvestite, or even novice transgender woman were all possibilities What really mattered was I was finally beginning to adjust to living in a new gender world I had only dreamed of. Once I made it to one stage, I always thought I could make it to another. I was successful in doing the grocery shopping all the way for shopping for the Christmas gifts I was going to give away. As my new self. It was as scary as it was exciting.
It turned out the more stages I was successful on, the more I needed to be. Which led me on a collision course with my old worn out male life. Even though I was fairly successful living as a man, he could tell his time on my stage was coming to an end and did not appreciate it. It was around this time also when I hit the darkest time of my life. In the several years when my second wife passed away, I also lost nearly all of my very few male friends I had to death also. I was extremely lonely and turned to my feminine self to fill the void. I would cross dress to blend and go out to treat myself to a drink in one of the venues I had become a regular in. Since I really wasn't seeking companionship, I guess you could say I was going out to be alone.
Through it all, this stage of my life proved to me I could live as a transgender woman. All the other stages of my life all of a sudden became clear and I knew all the years of living on a male stage had been mostly a waste of time. The main thing that wasn't was the birth of my very supportive daughter. Which I would never have achieved if I wasn't on the male stage.
Today, I won't have a very long time to explain the slow route I took to letting others into my true self. Hopefully, writing about the process ahead of time makes it clearer to others.