Sunday, September 24, 2023

Letting the World In

Image from Adrianna Geo
On UnSplash...

Recently, in one of my Veteran's Administration LGBT support sessions I have been attending, the moderator mentioned we weren't coming out as much as we were letting people in.

The idea resonated with me and I have used it extensively recently. Even more so when I considered adding it to my post from yesterday when my daughter included me in a group of her women friends who were attending a drag show. Even though I was extremely new in my explorations in the world as a transgender woman, I decided to go along. No matter how scared the whole idea made me feel. The problem was I had always thought I had carefully planned my progression within the gender labels I was dealing with at the time. In other words, for the longest time I had considered myself a cross dresser or transvestite even though (deep down) I didn't feel as if the labels fit me. 

When I was procrastinating with my gender development, people such as my daughter, my wife Liz and friend Kim were prepared to propel me quickly forward. I guess they saw more potential in my feminine self than I did on occasion. Plus, there was always my old male self to deal with. He was holding me back as he didn't want to lose what was left of his existence. Understandably he still controlled a few very important facets of my life which I could not let the world into. Those facets included my employment and interaction with friends or family to name a few. He was stubborn and very difficult to overcome so I had a tendency to try to go slow. 

Over the past several posts I have written about how going slow went with my daughter. When I summoned the courage to let her in to my true world, she went all in to help me. First with an invitation to go shopping, to a visit to her beauty parlor/salon for my first hair styling experience and last but not least, an exciting but scary night out with her girl friends. If I was going to be a woman around her, I learned quickly it was time to put my male self on hold.

The pattern continued with my friend Kim who invited me to an pro-football game with her and her family. Again, I hadn't been living as my authentic self very long and ended up wearing my old ill-fitting wig and out I went to the game. Sure, it was scary but I will forever remember Kim for the kindness she shared with me when I needed it the most on my gender journey. In addition, she really propelled me out of the closet and let the world in. She saw me as the true person I was.

Perhaps the person who propelled me the farthest ahead was my wife Liz. When we first met over twelve years ago, I still had a few basic ties intact with my old male self. At that point she told me one day why didn't I transition the rest of the way as she didn't see any male in me. I had finally reached the end of my transgender journey. There was no excuse to even consider continuing to live at all as my old male self.

With the wonderful help of the people I mentioned, plus others I didn't, my gender journey was put on hyper speed after years of going so slow. Once I let the world in, they came and conquered. 

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