You have to hold your head up high, you have to come to a place of being honest with yourself. You think you are “out”; your not out, you found a little micro-environments of acceptance and safety. Within these special environments you are out and accepting of yourself. You as I have spent years finding little niches of belonging. You as well as I don’t dance the “Happy Girl” dance in a cowboy bar at Texas A&M. (I studied there for a while)
If you really spend some time inside yourself, re-feeling the joy of first cross-dressing, of feeling pretty, of special pleasure in the first time you shaved your legs; I could go on forever. I first declared myself a girl when I was 4 years old; at that time my parents told me I had to stop acting like a girl because I was a boy. I have fought that biological control of my gender & emotion ever since. I have been cross-dressing for 60 years, and I NEVER thought that wasn’t my true self. My knowing sincerely that I was really a girl has kept me alive for those 60 years. A very few times I felt shame in my desires to be a woman; all because I allowed the “value structure” of intolerant bigots to momentarily penetrate me.
I believe one of the secrets of “coming to a place of self-acceptance” is to really work on your own personal “value structure”. What really is important; what values are worth keeping, embracing, respecting. I always knew I was really was a girl because of how I expressed love and emotion for just about everything, and that love and emotion came right out of me: the girl.
I have always been different than most people I hung around with. 34 year military veteran, starting with Viet Nam in 1971, retiring from the army in 2004 after Iraqy Freedom. I lived in a man’s world, but I was always a girl in value structure & emotion.
So where am I going with this: I have always known I was a girl, and I always accepted that I was a girl. I just didn’t let restriction such as my body is “male” interfere with my truths; really no different than the restrictions one feels when in a cowboy bar at Texas A&M. In 1952 I couldn’t physically be a girl, and that restriction lasted until a few years ago. I took care of myself by not initiating battles I was sure to lose, by never not believing in my girl and how that girl was not only normal, but a good person with love to share.
First: you have to “come to a place of self acceptance” in your own mind and heart. Own that place, believe in that place, let that place guide you, never look back. Second: Transgender acceptance in society has a long way to go, so don’t go where you will get hurt physically or mentally. Third: Lead a good life, let more and more people know you are transgender, a few here and there; let acceptance grow through your actions and deeds. Even do this carefully. Forth and finally: don’t do stuff you actually are ashamed of, build that “value structure” and let it help you in times of temptation. It is called “Cognitive Dissonance” when your own heart & mind tell you what your doing is wrong. But make sure it is your “Cognitive Dissonance”, a result of your “value structure”; not the uninformed, or the intolerant, or the ignorant.
We are all in a place of self acceptance. The real work is learning to grow the size of that place.
Lukcia Patricia Sullivan