Steps Forward and Back on Our Transgender Day of Visibility

 

Transgender Flag image from 
Alexander Grey on UnSplash.

During this week, we celebrated the "Transgender Day of Visibility." A time to be see and be seen during a time of great duress depending upon where you happen to live. It is also a time to remember and celebrate how those of us who are fortunate enough to have escaped our gender closets. Then were able to carve out a new life. 

In order to do the carving, you must have a sharp knife and be prepared to expect steps forward and steps backwards. In my early days in the public's eye, it seemed I couldn't get my feminine presentation together. It seemed on nights when I had my makeup and fashion together I then tried to ruin it all by slipping and almost falling in my heels or worse yet, just walking like a linebacker in drag. 

Of course I took a couple steps back when I left the comfort of my mirror and encountered the harsh reality of the real world. In many ways you could describe the process as the second act of my life. Of course the first involved working very hard to make it in a male world I never really wanted. Then I needed to work even harder to take the steps to leave it all behind. Even when I was struggling with the world at large by getting stared at, all the way to being the subject of out and out laughter, somehow I found the will to keep trying.

The problem I had was I sure I was trying to achieve the right goal. Could my dream of living a fulltime life as a transgender woman ever be a reality anyhow? Many dark days told me I was spending too much time, energy and even money on an unapproachable goal. The next step forward as I was in the darkness searching kept happening because everytime I saw the light in my closet, it felt it so natural. Deep down something was telling me to keep pursuing my journey.

The problem was, life kept getting in my way. First of all, my male self and my second wife had the idea any femininization I was thinking of would be totally wrong and cost me all chances at the life as I knew it. Even though I was at a disadvantage, I still knew deep down I had the courage to pursue more steps towards the point where I couldn't return. For me it meant beginning gender affirming hormones if I could be medically cleared to do so. I still could not take the big step until my wife passed away and I was cleared to begin. 

As with everything else in my life, hormones did shorten and lighten up the steps I was taking to living a transgender life. For any number of reasons, destiny opened my closet doors wide open. Tragically, when I lost so many friends and family who were dear to me, people I needed to come out to were few and far between. Other factors came into play also such as my age (sixty) which enabled hormones to take effect faster. At the same time, I wasn't too far away from being able to retire early and not have to worry about my finances when I was forced to come out on a job. Another plus came when the Veterans Administration health care system which I took advantage of started to accept transgender veterans like me and help with hormonal care.

As you can tell, destiny was urging me on to take the final step and live my life as a trans woman. Finally, I could take it no longer and took the final step and never look back. Taking the steps makes me proud to be a part of this year's Transgender Day of Visibility.   

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