Controlling What you can Control

 

Image from the Jessie Hart Archives

Quite early during my adventures as a novice cross dresser, I found I had several variables I could not control.

One of the main ones was having privacy to admire myself in front of the full length mirror in our house's hallway. Even if my parents happened to be not at home, often I was stuck baby sitting my slightly younger brother who seemed to have the ability to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. If he caught me cross dressed, I could certainly count on him to run and tell my parents. Which would then put me into all kinds of trouble. This was the 1950's and early sixties when cross dressing at all was a serious offense. I certainly did not want to face a therapist at such a young age when I had no control over the situation.

In those days, I was na├»ve and thought when I became older, I would have some sort of control over my gender destiny. Little did I know, my boundaries in life I called my closet would be very dark and confining for years or even decades to come. Finally, when I was honorably discharged from the Army, did I discover I wasn't all alone and there were others who wanted to cross dress as women. Better yet, they had transvestite parties or mixers which were close enough for me to attend. Which I did and discovered once again I had little or no control over my gender issues. In my haste to fit in with the group of men in dresses, I found I still didn't fit in easily. I didn't have the looks or attitude to fit in with the "A" listers or mean girls as I called them but then again, I didn't fit in with the other group who were busily smoking cigars and still acting macho. There had to be some sort of a middle point which to that point I had not discovered. 

It turned out, the label which fit me the closest had not really been invented yet. It was called transgender and once I was able to research what it meant, I felt I would fit right in. For once I felt as if I was gaining some sort of control. In reality I wasn't because when I came to the stage of my life when I began to explore the world from a feminine point of view, I again lost much of my control. Most of it came from how I was validating myself as a novice transgender woman. I was taking the easy path and thinking my control of the world came from my old male point of view. Beginning with fashion and makeup, I totally screwed up and didn't try to blend in with the other women in the world around me. The end result was, my validation came from them and gaining it gave me more control over my life as a transgender woman.

With age came the realization I could only change what I could and if someone else didn't like me for whatever reason, it was their problem, not mine. The freedom was wonderful and allowed me to do more and more with my feminine soul who had waited so long for her turn to live in the world. In a very short period of time, she proved herself to be a capable person in addition to being a survivor. In addition, she was much wiser in knowing what she could control, or not and left it alone. It all turned out to be the best move I could ever make.  

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