Showing posts with label Veteran health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Veteran health. Show all posts

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Is it Sustainable?


Image from the Jessie Hart

When I was cross dressing for myself in the mirror, it was easy to imagine me sustaining how I felt when I put on my small stash of feminine clothes. It seemed as if the feelings could go on forever. Then all too quickly I found I couldn't sustain my feelings of gender euphoria any more than a couple of days at the most.

At that point, I began to wonder about the feelings the clothes brought on to start with. I recognized at a very early age more was going on than just appearing pretty to myself in the mirror. I wanted to be the girl I had become, rather than just look like her. If I knew then what I know now, I would know my feelings would later lead me to discovering a transgender life. Perhaps if I thought it would be sustainable, I may have transitioned earlier.

One of the main problems with sustaining myself as a trans woman was maintaining a presentable feminine appearance. I worked hard to do it and when the mirror in the women's restroom I went to one night in a gay venue where I was meeting two lesbian friends told me I looked good, my confidence soared. It was summer and I was dressed all in black that night with  a sleeveless silky top with black flowing pants. I finished the outfit off with my favorite black sparkly sandals and long straight black wig. Fortunately by this time in my life, I learned the hard way my male privilege of personal security was gone so when I left, I asked my friends to walk me to my car which was parked in a dark urban parking lot. I had been there before and had been stopped by two men seeking money. Luckily a mere five dollars got me out of the bind I was in.

Keeping the appearance issue in mind, my biggest sustainability issue came from worrying how I would support myself if I transitioned. The industry I worked in, I knew would be very difficult  to succeed in if I suddenly changed my gender from male to female. So I knew I would have to find another way of financial support. What I came up with was getting old and just taking the early retirement option of Social Security. It wasn't a lot of money but it was enough to get me by and save me the extreme potential problems of trying to come out at a new job. 

So with all the help I discovered from my Veterans Administration health, doors opened for me which I never thought possible. The prime one was all the help I received when I finally decided to begin gender affirming hormones or HRT. A therapist was provided as well as my medication co-pay for all the meds I needed to really change my life. With those meds, at a price I could afford, my long term sustainability was secure. 

Perhaps the tragic aspect of all of this is almost all of my friends and close family had passed on. Leaving me with fewer and fewer people to come out to. However, times of potential gender trauma were greatly reduced and new doors were opened to me I never dreamed of as a transgender woman. The sustainability was there and so was I.  

Sink or Swim

Image from Trans Wellness Event.  Jessie Hart Archives.  Many times when I first entered the world as a new cross dresser or femininized mal...