Transgender Expectations


Picnic Image. My wife Liz on the right.

When I began the long and very difficult transgender journey I decided to take, I had many expectations.

At the time, I was still entranced with wearing all the pretty clothes a woman had access to. I could not wait to have my own wardrobe which would match any occasion from casual to formal. I was very na├»ve back in those days and thought a woman's life was all about how she looked. I was so wrong as I discovered as I explored more and more of a transgender woman's life. In addition to the layers cis-women went through in their lives, trans women face all of those and more. To begin with, we don't have the benefit of growing up around other girls and learning from them. Making our own way was difficult when the only input was coming from the mirror. 

Loneliness ruled my feminine side all the time my male side was trying his best to survive in the world he never really felt comfortable in. As I observed all the girls around me, my expectations of what their life was all about just increased. The problem was I had a distorted view of everything feminine. One example was I was shy and never liked having to ask a girl out on a date. I thought the whole process was so unfair just like worrying about serving in the military and getting shipped off to Vietnam. 

What I did not realize was the gender grass was not always greener on the feminine side. Was it easier to be the one asking someone out, or waiting for someone to ask you out. As far as the military went, there was nothing I could do about it, so I tried to hide my resentment and move on. 

As I did move on, I discovered many other expectations I never planned on. Communication was one of the major hurdles I needed to overcome before I could learn to live a quality life as a transgender woman. I was blindsided quickly when the public wanted to talk to me faster than I was ready to respond. Initially, before I went through vocal lessons, I tried to just talk in a soft background voice and hope for the best. Trying to match the voice to my appearance was not an expectation I planned on but it happened. It was just all a part of moving out of the mirror and into the world. 

As I matured as a trans woman and started to communicate with other women, I learned the grass was certainly not greener on the feminine side of gender. As I thought back to the Christmas envy I had because of my two girl cousins who were dressed in their new dresses and white tights. Liz ruined my illusions of pleasure when she told me stories of getting in trouble for getting her tights ruined by playing with the boys. 

Even though I found the grass was not greener on the other gender side, the more I learned of the gender differences I faced, the more I wanted to continue my journey. It seemed the more I experienced, I more I felt I had paid my dues as a transgender woman. More or less, as a rite of passage such as a mammogram. 

Since females are not born women but rather socialized into womanhood, transgender women have to go through the same process. By following all those expectations all those years, I finally arrived. The path I followed was difficult but in many ways the same as other women, transgender or not.