Thursday, May 16, 2024

On the Transgender Precipice

 

Image from Wira Dyatmika on
UnSplash.


As I followed a winding, difficult path to my dream of living as a fulltime transgender woman, I took years to climb the gender mountain.

Just one of the problems was  I was afraid of heights. The higher I climbed the rarer the air became because I had never been in all the situations I encountered. As I entered the world as a trans woman, there were so many situations I never expected to happen. I knew women led multi layered lives but not to the extent I encountered. Initially I thought if I had conquered all the fashion, hair and makeup basics, I had it made in the world. Needless to say, I was wrong. 

Even though my male self contributed to me feeling petrified as I climbed, I kept going. As I decided to leave the male gay venues I was going to and try lesbian and straight bars, I really needed to climb to a new level to survive. When I reached a new level, I paused to look around and see what I had accomplished if anything. What I did accomplish was a degree of acceptance from the venues I went to. Except for one evening when three guys kept playing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" on the jukebox over and over again, I begrudgingly held my spot and became an accepted regular in several places. As I did, my view of the world as a transgender woman became clearer and clearer. My gender dysphoric fog was clearing and increasingly all I could see was a future life living as a woman. 

At the same time, I was still a regular at the diverse mixers in Columbus, Ohio where I met a total range of people from cross dressers to transsexual women who were headed for gender realignment surgery or a sex change as it was known back then. By meeting and learning from all these people, I was able to chart my own path to my transgender precipice. 

The two main things I remember are how desperate I was for information on my gender issues and how scared I was of receiving an answer. Was my therapist right and I could do nothing about my feminine desires? If so, I had reached a precipice in my life and I needed to make a decision which would change my life forever. Of course my spoiler alert is, from my gender view, I could see a wonderful if not difficult future ahead as a trans woman. What happened was, as I built a new circle of women friends who never knew me as my past male self, I kept pushing and pushing myself to the edge of my transgender precipice until I fell down the cliff. 

Unknowingly, for the most part, I had set myself up for a soft gender landing. I gave away the remainder of my male clothes and set out to quit climbing and live a new life. What a relief it was to stop expending all the energy I was using to live two gender lives. The process exhausted me and ruined my fragile mental health. My friends helped me through this difficult time of my life more than I can ever say.

With my fears of gender heights behind me, I met my wife Liz and she helped me seal the deal and live my life as a transgender woman. That was fourteen years ago and we have been happy ever since. I don't think I could have ever envisioned I would meet up and marry another woman in my long life but I did. I guess the fog on my mountain was hiding my future.  

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