Owning Who you Are

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During Pride Month, it is extra important to to own who you are. Just as much as it is anytime but Pride may give you the little extra confidence to get by. 

To a large part, confidence in yourself, plays a huge role in you being able to own who you are as a novice transgender woman or trans man in the world. For me, it took many setbacks before I gained the confidence in myself to enter the public's not so accepting world. Just learning the basics of fashion and makeup was a major undertaking for me since like so many of you, I was starting from scratch. Slowly but very unsurely I was able to learn the basics enough to get by. In order to do so, I needed to learn to blend in with other women and not try to be sexier, which was a dismal failure. Stuffing a male, testosterone poisoned body into an ultra short mini skirt or dress just didn't work anywhere except for shock value at Halloween parties. 

Once I began to develop a slight amount of confidence in myself, I still learned the hard way that the sky was not the limit when I came to exploring a new life as a transgender woman. In one venue ( a  TGIF Friday's) I found myself becoming a part of a small diverse group of strangers who knew nothing of my old male life. The group was a mixture of a lesbian and her friends which included a beautiful exotic  dancer who drew the interest of a big bearded guy who owned a motorcycle and managed a lumber yard just down the street. Against the wishes of the group, he shocked everyone by proposing to the wild dancer and found himself in a short lived ill fated marriage. Ironically, I was the only one who showed him any sympathy in the group and we became close, before he moved on with his motorcycle to another job. The whole episode gave me confidence in the fact that men were not as off limits as I thought they were. Even though they were not knocking my door down to date me.

I found out quickly my sexuality did not change as I transitioned from male to female and even was enhanced when I learned all the attention I could get from other women. Most importantly, I did not need the validation from a man to give me the confidence to be myself. Even though I was prepared to see if there was any sort of a sexual spark between the authentic trans me and men, there just wasn't. I was busy owning who I was and she was doing a quality job during the process. As it was, the process led me down many different paths. Many turned out to be good and others were dead ends but my new found confidence helped me to continue to search.

Owning who I was also meant forcing my old, unwanted male self into the closet where my authentic gender self lived for years just existing by cross dressing in front of the mirror. Of course, he put up quite the battle before losing and nearly wrecked my mental health on the way. With the help of a key group of women friends and a loyal, dedicated therapist, I survived on my gender path and eventually thrived. I just had to muster up more courage than I thought I had to do it. To those of you who would ask why I would risk so much to transition, I can only say the process along the way felt so natural and saved my life. 

Some would argue I am less trans than the next person because I waited so long to come out in my life. That is ridiculous because I always knew I had gender issues but did not grow up in an easy time to express them Plus, I would not give anything to have missed out on certain moments of my male life, such as my daughter. Who has led me to having three grandchildren I love very much. So you can see why I don't consider my entire male life to be a waste of time because I learned so much from it. 

On the other hand, switching gears after being deeply embedded in a male world wasn't easy. The process took me many years before I could come up to speed in a new world which was and is constantly changing for women, transgender or not. In fact, it could be argued, catching up is more difficult for a trans woman because we have to start from scratch and often be better in the world than other women just to survive. Having the confidence to own who you are is the only way to do it. 

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