Thursday, June 20, 2024

A Spectator in my Own Life


Ohio River Image from
the Archives.

Many times during my life, I felt as if I was just a spectator in my own life, not an active participant.

Included were the times I fell in love with myself over the new feminine self in the mirror at home. The whole experience for years  was similar to the impossible dream I could never achieve.  The older I became, changes began to take place in how I viewed myself. Perhaps, some of the biggest ones came about when I began to meet other diverse people in the cross dresser or transgender community. At the time, I barely knew a transgender or transsexual person even existed and here I was actually meeting real life people I could learn from. I especially wanted to see and understand how two women I knew were going to go through the entire surgical gender surgeries to complete their gender journeys. I wondered if I could ever make the ultimate sacrifice to change my body or, did I even need to. It was until much later in life when I fully learned gender was between my ears and not my legs and living like a woman was good enough for me.

As I was initially out in the public's eye trying to survive as a novice trans woman, often I felt as is I was a spectator in my own life. The pretty girl in the mirror just couldn't be me but she was and what would happen next. What happened was, I immediately wanted to do more in my new exciting femininized life. In order to do so, I needed to begin to communicate with the world if I wanted to go any further. At that point I thought my spectator issues would go away but it did not.

The prime example with me being a spectator happened on the night I went to a sports/restaurant venue to see if I could blend in successfully with other single professional women. Despite being scared to death, I managed to survive even though I still felt like a spectator in my own life. Who was this person?  By this time, I was wondering if my spectatorship would ever go away and I could lead a so called "normal" life as a transgender woman. 

The answer came from repetition.  The more I was out in the world, the more I felt as if I belonged and my authentic self took charge. I no longer felt as if I was a spectator looking in on my own life. I suppose much of my change had to do with the balance of living over half a century trying to exist in a male world, with much a smaller percentage of time learning to exist in a world often not accepting to transgender women. Through trial and error, I was able to see what was working and set out to fix it. I am very stubborn and the same effort I put into my transition often slowed my progress down when I hit a rough patch. Such as how I was dressing. I needed to adjust my fashion away from what my old male self liked into what my feminine self thought was proper and then I started to blend and succeed in the world. At the same time, I felt less and less as a spectator and more and more as a participant.

Being a participant was impactful and fun and made me feel as if I had a real say in my everyday life into my future for the first time ever. It seemed living a life as a transgender woman was within my grasp and I started to understand what my acquaintances so long ago felt, except for the major gender surgeries of course. 

Then there was the major waste of time I needed to face in my life. I always say, if I could have just a small amount of time back when I was day dreaming of being a girl or woman, where would have my life taken me. If I had not been a spectator and took control could I made a bigger success of my male life, or would something else have happened to keep me on the same path I was on. Ironically, age brings on many questions and very few answers except for at the least, I ended up trying to change for the better. 

Maybe we all are spectators in our own lives and never realize it until it is too late. It seems transgender women and trans men just have better seats on occasion  Especially all the times we had to tear down our old life and rebuild anew. .


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