|From the Jessie Hart Archives|
The Ohio State Student Union with
I know I write about my past experiences quite a bit but my excuse is I am old and allowed to. If you believe it or not it's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. One thing I try not to do is dwell too much on the past to the point it effects my present. On the other hand, I find many of my readers who take the time to comment (thank you) share the number of years lived and similar experiences lived as I have. Even more are very similar. Take the military for example. Since most of us who share the same age will agree, like it or not, the whole experience was a life altering time. Including what we were able to do concerning our gender issues.
In my case, the whole impact of losing three years of my life to serving my country did not impact me as much as what was going to become of my more than serious cross dressing urges. I couldn't imagine my drill sergeants in Army Basic Training would have approved of my favorite mini skirt or heels. On a serious note though, I learned several lessons in life from my gender dysphoria and the military. My biggest lesson learned from both was I could essentially make it through anything if I tried hard enough. In basic, for the first time in my life, I couldn't hide behind my skirts and use the excuse if I only was a girl, life would be better. Which might have been true but the problems would have still been there in a different form.
The truth was the only unescapable fact that separated my past gender problems was my overwhelming jealousy women could not be drafted into the military and the burden of fighting all the wars and possibly dying fell upon the men. I learned the hard way in basic, to get over my problems and move on. Which was the best possible result which could have happened to me. I think too, my cross dressing-transgender past helped me to get by too. While it was true I couldn't sneak off and practice my feminine craft, I brought the idea with me that someday in the future, I would be free again to be as much of a girl as I wanted.
Another part of the past which was really important to me was when my daughter was born. Little did I know how much she would force me to begin to settle my life down and be some sort of a father. An art form which I had little past knowledge of because for the most part, my Dad was very unapproachable. Even though my daughter was raised in two separate homes due to her Mother and I divorcing, later in life I found I must have done something right because my daughter grew in to having much of my spirit and also turned out to one of my main supporters during my gender transition.
The problem is having the opportunity to learn from the past while still attempting to live the present in it's fullest. Surely there are times I have a tendency to dwell on things I should have done differently in my life. Most certainly the possibility of transitioning earlier was one of them. Even though I know the world was vastly different. As the old saying goes, you can't cry over spilled milk and it quickly becomes useless to worry about the number of bridges you may inadvertently burned. It's a fact a long successful gender transition is better than never taking the chance to do it at all. I wonder how many tombstones in the cemetery would read "I wished I could have lived as my authentic self". Which leads me to the future. Since I will be seventy four this year, I can see the end of the line and I worry about my health as well as the health of my loved ones. Then, of course what will become of me if I live long enough to find myself in an assisted care facility as a pre opt transgender woman.
In the meantime, I do my best to honor the past, live in the present and plan for the future the best I can.