Showing posts with label Maine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maine. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Outing Yourself

 

Image from Simon Humler
on UnSplash

Years ago, as I sometimes I suffered from strong impostor syndrome, when I was actually fitting in with a group of women, sometimes,  I accidentally outed myself. Then I needed to forgive myself for doing it.

I remember vividly one night on vacation when my wife Liz and I were having dinner with a single woman we had be-friended on our trip. I don't remember how the topic came up about the friendliness of some of the other travelers, or lack of from others. For some reason I blurted out in our case, the reason for other people being standoffish was because I was transgender. The woman looked surprised and I immediately wondered if she had known but by that time it was too late to turn back and the conversation continued fortunately as if nothing happened. 

From that point forward, I conditioned myself to letting all other people come to their own conclusions about me. It helped because I was gaining the confidence in myself to not care one way or another what someone else thought of me. But still, I had to battle to judge others and let them make the first move. Like the evil cis-woman with her friends in a restroom I had to use one night at a mixed venue in downtown Cincinnati.  When I entered the small women's room, I needed to make my way through the gaggle of women to a stall to do my business. As I finished and came out, I headed for the sinks to wash my hands and check my makeup in the mirror. In the meantime, the one woman who had glared at me earlier had positioned herself near the only hand dryer which happened to be fastened high off the wall. As I moved to use it, she continued to block my way, so I reached behind her and pushed the button which ruined her hair for the time being. She jumped and moved quickly out of my way and I had complete access to the hand dryer. I then finished drying my hands, glared at her at exited the ladies room. 

I was proud of myself and remembered the number of years it took me to arrive at a point where I never outed myself. If someone else had a problem with me, it became their problem. If I was eating my fair share of a "Lobsta" bake in Maine or eating pizza with my friends at a venue in Columbus, Ohio, I was just me and even though I was always trying to improve the new femininized me, it had to be a better version than the old miserable male person I used to be. 

When I finally escaped all the nervousness of being out in the world as a transgender woman, I used what I learned to stop any idea of ever outing myself again. As it turned out, my inner female who had waited my whole life to be in control finally made it into my light of day and she knew how to make the best of her situation. She made it clear I had always been a woman cross dressing as a man and not the opposite I always thought I was. I guess, all those years when I was secretly hoping I would reveal my secret to the world, I had it all backwards.

Since I did, it was difficult for me to forgive myself and all the phantom ideas I had about letting my family and parents down. Including years of therapy and help from key friends, I managed to make it. Plus make up for lost time while I was doing it. 

 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Trans Girl Vacations

Archive Vacation Image from Kansas.





Since it is summer time, it is vacation time around here. Spoiler alert, this post is not about flying these days as a transgender woman or making it through airport check points unscathed. It is about ground based transportation. I did all the flying I wanted to do at an earlier period in my life when the military flew me all over the world.

My problems with going on any sort of vacation at all began when I was cross dressing as a man on a vacation to Michigan one year with my second wife. Very early on, I began to feel the pressure coming on when I couldn't go out in the world as a novice transgender woman. Then, I began to resent the fact I needed to be a guy at all and I wanted to be a woman with all my being. By doing so, I started to grow quiet and introverted which alerted my wife that something was wrong with me and she started to pry. After all, we were on vacation from two successful jobs we liked, were blessed with my daughter we both loved and a 1860's restored house we lived in. Ideally, we shouldn't have any problems but I did. 

As I internalized my gender issue, I never answered her questions as to what was wrong. There was no way I was going to tell her I would rather be spending my vacation time as a woman rather than my male self. So I shut up and did my best to change or hide my feelings. By doing so, I was able to salvage what was left of my vacation. 

When I met my wife Liz, she had a passion for travel and we decided on several rather lengthy bus tours to places such as the Southwest, Maine and even Mardi Gras. The major problem I had except for the often brutal bus rides to my back was the fact the bus's restroom was off limits except for major emergencies. Which meant I needed to stand in line with a group of other women at mostly road side rest stops along the highway. Since there was no way I could hold my business an entire day, I needed to quickly learn what it was like to stand in line to use the rest room. Seemingly, either I became used to it in a hurry or the other women on the bus became used to me being there because they didn't seem to care I was there. 

Even with all of my acceptance, I still felt potential issues coming up when we traveled through deeply conservative states such as in the deep south. In fact, I received a real fright during a rest stop on the Alabama-Mississippi state line. To start with, in addition to the long line waiting to use the facilities, there was the faint smell of sewer gas and all I wanted was to do my business, wash up and get out. On this trip however, there were two women glaring at me when I left the stall, so I immediately thought the worst was going to happen and they were going to attack me. Thankfully, they didn't scream out there was a man in the woman's room so I did get out and hurried my way with Liz to the bus. Once we were safely back on the bus, my paranoia set in and I kept looking for a southern cop trying to pull the bus over. It never happened either and the next stop was a huge truck stop just outside of New Orleans where the bus needed to refill. This time, I didn't have to go and just had to wait for Liz in the so called souvenir shop. The only challenge I received on the trip was when we stopped to eat in a big venue just outside of the "Big Easy."

In the restaurant, I waited as long as I could for the restroom to be empty and took my chances. When I did, one of the women on the trip entered the room with me. She was very civilized and I didn't expect any problems and didn't when she look surprised and just said Oh! you use our restroom. She ended up sitting right across the big table from us and didn't say anything else. 

Our trip to West Virginia to check out local short line railroads we could ride proved to be fun and easy and proved to be a great beginners trip since it was relatively short distance from our native Ohio. Our trip to Maine was a fun trip also since for the most part we were passing through transgender friendly states, so I did not have to worry about harassment. Plus the Maine lobster (or Lobsta) did not disappoint. Finally the trip out west to Colorado was just too long although I did really enjoy the train rides we took out there, especially in Durango. 

Recently, we have not been able to find or afford any more tours so Liz and I have had more "stay-cations." Plus I don't have to worry about my gender when we go or what to do about restrooms. As the years have gone by, I have grown so much more confident about my presentation as  a transgender woman.

Can't wait for our next adventure.


Much More than a Phase

  Civil War Cemetery image from the Jessie Hart Archives.  When I was first experimenting with wearing woman's clothing, I worked long a...