Similar to other human beings, we transgender folk follow a long path to hopefully discovering our true selves.
Even though we face a difficult and often cruel journey to arrive where we are heading, others are not immune from going through similar yet different struggles. It is my belief that even though cis women and men are just born female or male they have the chance to hopefully grow in life to be quality women and men. I see the same struggle with transgender women and men as they grow into their authentic selves.
Connie and I used to refer to them as "trans nazi's" back in the day. They were the ones who seemingly held the number of gender surgeries you had or didn't have against you. More than likely another version of "I am more Transgender than you" movement. How sad is it any of us have had to go through anything like it.
|Early Cross Dressing Picture|
Jessie Hart Collection
My earliest remembrances go back to my first visits to "transvestites' mixers" in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Out of all the different types of cross dressers in the room, the ones who perhaps influenced me the most were the ones I called the "A" Listers. The attendees who were impossibly feminine and attractive. Unfortunately, they were the biggest bitches in the crowd. I didn't want to act like them, I just wanted to look like them. With the help of practice and a timely makeover, I finally earned my right to go out with them and party after the mixer was over.
Slowly but surely, I was achieving a transgender goal I didn't really know I had. Ironically, I never did fit into a niche group there either. I wasn't one of the "A" listers, nor was I a so called run of the mill cross dresser. Finally, the term transgender came along to save me. I found my niche.
Overall though, goals are difficult to achieve for many transgender women and men. We have huge hurdles to overcome when we come out to friends and family. Many times, those same friends and families don't understand they have to transition also. Rarely do we stay the same as we make the journey across the gender frontier. Hormone replacement therapy alone takes awhile to fully set in so transitions are far from complete when a trans person comes out.
Then there are the gender surgeries. All the way from breast enlargement, to facial feminization, to gender realignment it's often a difficult and painful path to take. It takes a special friend or family member to understand and follow one through such a drastic journey.
Perhaps the most cruel goal of all is the conscious desire to forsake any gender privilege you may have built up over the years living as your non authentic self. Depending upon your age, you had potentially accrued the so called right and knowledge to live a certain way. I was to the point in my life when I had earned the hated "Sir" word. If I was deserving or not.
I'm fortunate in that I have been able to achieve my transgender goals but I have had plenty of help along the way. I can't forget any of them.