Dabbing my toes in the water of femininity. Is this what I’m really doing or am I a creature of unknown origins? A collection of thoughts and actions that show neither a true path nor a divergence from safety and the familiar.
Enough with existentialism. Just what the heck am I? This is the thought that is always in my mind and affects me daily as I try to navigate a path that one moment seems free of obstacles to one that even the best pathfinder couldn’t track. In years past, this would be another anxiety to face. It goes far deeper than my infatuation with femininity. I am most assuredly something more than a heterosexual crossdresser that pretends in the land of womanhood.
The separation of what it all means is where my difficulty lies. There is a woman in me as surely as there is a man. I’ve never taken hormones so I have no idea if they would suppress the one and enhance the other. Would that ease the anxiety? Make it worse? It’s funny, but I think that if I could move out of my well-known life here and start anew I might be more of a male crossdresser. I would be happy living as a female and donning the persona of a man to do what was needed to get by. So, what stops me. Simply put…my life and responsibilities. I live with and take care of my aging parents. Neither know nor suspect my true nature. My mother has stage 3 lung cancer and suffers from dementia. My 94-year-old father gets by fairly good but our personalities clash. I could be in this role for a year or 5, maybe more. Leaving them to fend on their own isn’t an option. Not in my book. My sister is in equally bad health and may not survive much longer either. That leaves me.
I’m a puzzle solver. I see the big picture and I can easily become frustrated by narrow minds and stubbornness. (I have my own moments…) I accept rational explanations and the grey areas as equals. I choose to stay quiet rather than create a ruckus. I concede to avoid senseless arguing. I hide rather than presenting a truer me. There are times that I wish I could only be self-focused and do only for myself; it would sure ease some of the anxieties. But…money, relationships, my parents and sister, my kids, grandkids, career, health, the list extends on. What am I willing to sacrifice? I don’t suffer from gender dysphoria, not to the point where I hate my maleness and suffer because of it. I just want to be more feminine. I want breasts, long hair, and the hair to be gone where it shouldn’t be. The need for complete surgery…not sure. Without the benefit of hormones, I feel as if I’m 60-70% female. Would that change? Does a woman feel 100% female or a manly man 100% male? Do I have to be at least 90% sure to proceed?
This is the life puzzle that I keep trying to put together. It’s only a million pieces or so. I envy those who had much smaller puzzles, especially those who have completed theirs; mine might never be completed. However, I’ve not given up putting it together. In my mind, it’s the process that is the most important. I’m doing something, albeit sometimes at a snail’s pace. I’m going to take another step soon and meet with a therapist to help me answer some of the prevailing questions. We will be studying each other and playing a game…this I know, because it’s who I am and why I’ve declined this route for a long time. In another life, I might have been the one doing the counseling.
One of the anxieties that we impose on ourselves is the need to have some form of finality or scripted direction. Never has this been truer than in today’s “You are with us or against us” mentality. Society no longer values middle ground. Yet, that’s exactly where 80% of us reside with the other 20% occupying the extremes. Sadly, they are the voice that speaks loudest and the ones who propagate hatred towards differing thoughts. It has gotten so bad that it has become the “Norm.” We blindly follow and act in kind. Why? What happened to awareness and common sense? Oh, yeah…pressure to conform or accept directives from every sector of our lives; with us or against us…
I found this discussion on being transgender to be helpful. What It Means to Be Transgender (webmd.com) I sometimes wonder, “Do I belong on this site? Is it only for those who are transitioning or seriously considering it?” Short answer. Yes, I belong here and no it isn’t. This site is for anyone who feels they have a feminine side to them. Here is where we can all learn from those who have taken their next steps, regardless of what those might be. Someone has done what we consider to be the next possibility. Hearing from them, learning from them, this is what this place is about.
I spend more time on Crossdresser Heaven as I share my journey there in hopes to help others navigate here. I’m also comfortable in calling this place my home, maybe more so because I am exactly that—more I used to fear that revelation the most. I put stress on myself to accept that I was transgendered and that it must entail that I needed to transition—but I don’t. I just need to find the me that I can live peacefully with. What that means today can be dramatically altered down the road. It could go either way. I just don’t know. What will never change is that I am a combination of male and female. That is my certainty. It does me no good to wish upon a star or regret that I didn’t do something earlier or feel as if it’s too late. It isn’t. There is no time limit on becoming…
Let kindness be your guide and understanding be your mentor.
More Articles by Sabrina MacTavishView all articles by Sabrina MacTavish
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The Art of Becoming….or as I like to say it, shedding the “stuff” that has kept me small hahaha I am now a much fuller expression of my – Self than I have ever been. It has taken nearly 60 years, a few learning marriages, 3 to be exact lol, and several decades of suffering to learn that my job, is to create the very best conditions I am able, which will allow the fullest expression of what’s in me to express. I no longer care if someone calls it male, female, dog or blade of grass haha Every one… Read more »
Thanks, as always for the nice comments and for all you do 🙂 Doing my best to figure myself out with less stress and help a few others along the way…
Hi Jess, It’s like a glass of cool water to a very thirsty person to read what you wrote about your experience and felings, and I like the phrase “birthing our trans-ness,” because that is how it feels – bringing this gentle, tender, somewhat shy new person into being and seeing her flourish. I hope your loving partner can expand to love all of you, how sweet to be seen and loved for who we are. Hmmm … maybe I need a name for who is being born in me. Tom is that other part, so maybe Toni … in… Read more »
So nice to hear from you, Toni. And thank you for sharing your story. Some days it all feels quite simple while other days those things that “intervene” overwhelm the gender expression that feels genuine. It is quite a ride, isnt it?
Thank you for this essay, Brina. I resonate with much of what you write. I have privately identified as what we now call gender queer for a very long time–since I was in my late 20’s (I’m 62 now). Essentially, I was never comfortable with the label masculine even though my presentation was low-key “guy” ( and my sexuality I identified as “relatively straight”, into women but not unaware of being open to attraction/feelings toward men but never acted on them). I never fit into easily identified boxes but that was okay. Fast forward 20-25 years and the not being… Read more »
Jess, Thank you for your wonderful insights and comments. I wonder how it will go 20 years from now as genderqueer is growing and being brought to the forefront by so many celebrities. In some ways, women have had this ability (Tomboy) and been accepted, not perfect by any means, but still in a way that isn’t a male who likes frilly things. I won’t live to see a world where everyone is accepted for just being themselves and judged not by how they look, but by the compassion and abilities they have. Where the value is placed on how… Read more »
Hi Sabrina, my name is Tom, I’m new to Transgender Heaven, your article is the first I’ve read and I loved it. Much of what you say I also feel. I feel like I’m a man and a woman, a man who yearns for his feminine self to blossom and come alive. I love putting on make-up, experimenting with colors and looks, and I do this because it feels good and it feels like me … not all of me, but a crucial me. I want to feel and know this feminine me, this woman-me. Most of my life I’ve… Read more »
Tom, Thank you as well for sharing and for your compliments and thoughts. It took me a long time to understand even being a crossdresser…and then I knew it was more than that. It’s hard to explain to some on either side, this feeling that I’m more blended than an either-or. That could always change and I find myself mostly one (which in my case would be female) should hormones ever be prescribed and I move through selective surgeries. I still might…or not. It still wouldn’t change the blend that I feel, but my goal would be to finally show… Read more »