Reply To: Fear and Loathing in Texas

#102740
DeeAnn Hopings
AMBASSADOR

Be sure to check out the officemate, Feleshia Porter. There was also a similar message about a degree of flexibility with pricing. Often there is also similar pricing flexibility with therapists at an LGBT center.

I suspect that I approach my function here at TGH a bit differently from most. I came out publicly on October 10, 2015 in front of about 130 people. I was 67 and about 4 months from retirement. My wife knew everything about me and continues to be supportive. Different from what many experience, there was no thought of losing my career, my home or my family. I relocated from New York State to the Southern California Desert and began life essentially as DeeAnn. However, there are certain situations where I do present as Don. Most recently, I presented as Don when we went to get our vaccinations. I have no desire to change all of my documents, so they all still say Don. However, I didn’t want people to get weird while trying to figure out who I was. Also, I never take my car for service when dressed. Often women have less than optimal experiences, so it avoids that. It also keeps me from having to get testy with folks and doing a smackdown by informing them that I am a degreed mechanical engineer with 43 years experience. I’ve also been a car person since childhood.

If you don’t start none, there won’t be none…

I also live in an area that is pretty sensitized regarding LGBT people and issues. While my social transition is essentially complete, I have no plans to do HRT or to physically transition. I have little or no dysphoria. But, what I eventually figured out is that everything I do, say, believe or feel has always been from the perspective of both genders. It isn’t situational and that is one of the things that led me to think that I wasn’t a crossdresser. I don’t have a male persona and a female one. There is only one persona, and while it is made up of Don and DeeAnn, it is a constant. It has always been like this. Since I relocated, I’ve probably met well over 300 people here. I doubt is even 10% of them know that Don exists. For all of my many community and volunteer involvements, DeeAnn is the person of record.

Over the past 5 years I’ve run across a number of trans people who are putting up a mighty struggle to just be who they are every day. Since that isn’t my situation, it was much easier for me to advocate for them. Unfortunately trans people don’t have a good reputation as far as general society is concerned. There is a lot of internal BS as well as external. Because I’m old, in a stable relationship, financially stable, etc. I am perceived differently. So, I try to use that to good purpose. But, sad to say, there are MANY trans people in very precarious situations. This is why it is such a sore spot for me to see folks turning their backs on the community after they have transitioned. The only way this is going to get better is if we are visible, doing good work, trying to lift up ourselves and in turn, the LGBT community.

I am fortunate that the vast majority of problems that face most trans people have not been visited upon me. What I came to realize is that I have learned a lot about myself as a person, learned a lot about the trans community and also about the LGB community. But, what is most important is that we all grab a rope and help pull this barge down the river. It doesn’t work any other way.

Regarding presentation…

While I can shop at department stores, I mainly shop at thrift stores (in person and online). Definitely my money goes further, but it is also about the thrill of the hunt. I just find great fun in that and sometimes I have been very lucky. I was in the jacket section of a thrift store and found a very nice suit jacket by Le Suit with the original tags. I passed on it because there was no matching skirt or pants. A little while later I was in the dress pants section and saw a pair with tags from Le Suit and the tag said “2pc”. I took it over to where the the jacket was and they MATCHED!! Evidently when placed on the racks, the pieces got separated. Anyway, I got a new skirt suit that retailed for $225 to $250 for less than $40!! THAT gets me excited!?!? Maybe close to 90% of my wardrobe is from thrift stores. The only things that I always by new are shoes and hats.

In spite of all of the difficulties involved in transitioning, there is one extraordinary part. Out of necessity significant parts of our lives have to get redone. We get to revisit certain decisions and perhaps we just might make better choices the second time around…

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