I experienced probably the most important epiphany in my life a few nights back. I’d spent all day running around on a hot, 90+ degree day, running errands, and checking in on a couple of sick friends. When I got home, it was late; I was beat, tired, and hurting.
There is a full-length mirror in my living room, and as I happened to notice myself in the mirror, I saw an old lady in a short leather skirt, a top that had gotten stained, whose hair was an absolute mess, and was obviously tired because she was slumped over instead of in her usual straight, shoulders back posture.
I smiled and then became happy and elated. I could have been the poster girl for swamp witch of the Month. It didn’t matter, because what I saw in the mirror and felt inside was that of a tired old lady, not a poorly dressed, crossdressing dude. I know who and what I am. I am thrilled and secure in my belief in myself. It was the first time in 70 years I’ve ever looked at myself in a mirror and liked of what I saw. The fact that I have a mirror in my house for the first time (ignoring the one that is always in the bathroom) says a lot about my mindset just by its presence.
It has taken me literally decades to get here. I’ve known that I differed from all the other little boys as far back as 1st grade, which was 1959. Thirty-plus years of confusion, along with failed relationships, and another four in therapy, plus four more just doing research on my own has convinced me I didn’t belong in a male body.
I’ve been a gamer most of my life and always prefer to play a female character when I have the choice, which should have told me something had I been paying more attention. I eventually came out to myself and started buying women’s clothes and wearing them at home. After almost a decade, I started getting brave enough to wear women’s jeans and the occasional V-neck “girly” colored t-shirts in public. I spent 45 years in Colorado and moved to Indiana two years ago, coming out completely when I got there.
It’s scary sometimes without the support I would have had from my friends back in Boulder but having served as a vet and been a firefighter for 20 years, I’m used to dealing with scary. It’s being alone that is tough. I am so thankful for groups like ours where I can feel safe.
While I know I still have a long way to go, the simple fact is that I could look at myself in the mirror and love who I saw for the first time ever. It still elates me after all this time!