Anna commented on Medium concerning my coming out experiences as bravery. I have never thought my gender transition as having anything to do with bravery. Rather, it was something I had to do. Now I look at the process as more of solving a gender puzzle.
As I assembled my gender puzzle, I kept discovering more and more missing pieces. What happened then was I needed to accomplish more and more in the public eye to prove I had it right. I have written in depth on many of my learning experiences all along with more and more I continue to discover as I follow this writing path. Once I think I have it all figured out, something new comes along to prove I have not.
One thing I don't write about enough are my severe bouts with gender dysphoria. Perhaps there was a level of bravery to overcome passive and active suicide attempts. I know I was scared to death to enter the world as my feminine self on more occasions I can count. I have often told you all about all the times I came home crying following ill fated attempts at living as my authentic self. Back in those days I was still of the opinion I was crossdressing as a woman. When, actually all those years I had been cross dressing as a man.
I need to add in also I have never been good at puzzles. I tend to approach them (puzzles) with my usual impatience. When a certain outfit didn't work instead of trying another, I allowed the mirror to lie to me and out I would go to fail again. Slowly I did learn not to force pieces of the puzzle together that didn't fit. At that point, I discovered I could have success in public with my external feminine appearance and learned it was only the beginning. In other words, I discovered a whole new set of puzzle pieces.
Now, even I wonder how I managed to navigate all of the challenges I was to face. It seemed every piece of the puzzle I located and was able to find a place for created the need for another. An example is how women communicate with each other. I found they have a unique way to communicate when men are present or when they are not. I had several women who protected me from possible negative situations with men as an example. It wasn't just men though. Along the way I learned women specialized in passive aggression. Or where were the knives located when they met you. Those were the ones who said you looked good as a woman...for a man. (un said).
The biggest puzzle piece had to be what happened when I lost my male privilege's. I reached the point of my life age wise when the term "sir" had been bestowed on me, if I wanted it or not. Most importantly I found my personal security changed drastically as I tried to live a feminine existence. For the first time in my life I asked friends for help getting to my car at night when it was parked in a relatively unlit parking lot. Overall, the loss of male privilege deserves it's own post we will get to another time.
Over the space of life, I learned to respect my gender puzzle as just a extra special portion who I became as a human. After all, how many people get the chance to sample life from both sides of the gender spectrum.
I just hope I haven't lost any pieces as I complete my puzzle.