Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Quiet Trans Girl

Image from Linkedin on UnSplash.

Growing up, I lived under the double edged sword of not wanting to live in a male dominated world which was my family. So I did what I was taught to do, I internalized my thoughts and never mentioned them to anyone.  I became a very quiet trans girl until when I was in my early twenties and came out as a transvestite to a few very close friends. In the Army, of all places. 

In fact, internalizing my feminine desires became my main theme to my life. On many days, when my gender dysphoria was at it's highest, I had no idea how I was going to make it through another day in a male world. Somehow, without the help of anyone else I made it and continued to live a very quiet life with a few male dominated activities included to throw my gender doubters off the beaten track. Somehow I managed to join up with a small group of hell raisers who I stayed friends with through high school and the military.

Staying hidden in my closet had a negative effect when I first took my tentative steps in the world as a novice cross dresser / transgender woman. When I made my entrance into the real world away from gay bars and clothing stores where everyone could be accepted, I was petrified when someone attempted to communicate with me. What would I say and more importantly how would I say it. Nothing in my life had prepared me for what I was about to face. 

I began the process with simply trying to mimic the voice of the woman who was trying to talk to me, which seemed to work out fairly well until I needed to talk to a man. So I tried to do the next best thing and not talk at all. Not talking worked fairly well until I began to see people again. For the most part, I was easy to remember and more people than I care to mention wanted to know more about me. Particularly women, who in their own feminine way wanted to know why I wanted into their world. To further my communication success, I then decided to attend vocal classes at the Veteran's Administration in Dayton, Ohio. By doing so, I was able to learn the basic differences the male and female binary genders use to communicate in the world. The training went much farther than just the basics of vocal range and I learned a lot. 

Perhaps the biggest improvement I learned was I could now have the confidence to hold my own, one on one with another woman. I was no longer coming off as unfriendly or worse by not wanting to talk. I used to say I was going out to my favorite venues night after night to be alone but it was not true any longer as I was out to be social. 

Ironically, the better I became at being social with other women, the more I was kicked out of my old men's club which I had become so adept at surviving in. I learned quickly my male privilege of discussing topics of interest with other guys was a waste of my time when I was rejected for being a woman. Transgender or not. Like it or not, once again I had became the quiet trans girl. 

It wasn't until I began to build a new circle of women friends did I finally discover I didn't need a man's validation to be a person at all. I could stand on my own two feet and flourish in the world but it wasn't easy to get there. I had more failures than successes when I first started the communication process in the world as a transgender woman. The feminine nuances of non verbal communication women use initially was very difficult to learn. It did not take me long though to grasp when a friendly woman behind the bar was trying to tell me when a drunk guy was a huge red flag and I should vacate the premises.

More than anything else, my new communication skills brought the quiet trans girl out of her shell. When I moved in with Liz in Cincinnati, we began to go to "Meetup" social groups which helped immeasurably with my communication skills. Sure, probably, most of the others attending knew I was trans but I was different and even exotic to a few, so I stood out from the group. I needed to accept the fact and finally began to thrive on my reality.

I know my reality isn't for everyone and my journey could be different than all of yours. The main thing is we are all on the same journey at various points in our lives and can learn from each other. When we do, we can come out of our deep/dark gender closets and live a meaningful life. 

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