Reflections, anticipation, doubt, hope and nearly every other feeling all seem to happen at once when the Christmas season arrives and the looming uncertainty that accompanies the new year approaches. I’ve shared some of the health issues within my family. My mother passed away in November 2021 and my father (95) is dealing with the complications of diabetes. This, while my hearing continues to decline, and I had to make a quick decision to sell out my practice as the newest levy of fees would be detrimental to me continuing to do it going forward.
That’s the gift that I’d like to exchange. I’m blessed that I have my father, most of my good health, and the potential to start a new adventure. What would I be willing to pay so that I may return my current problems in exchange for wonderful outcomes—a successful procedure for my father, new hearing treatments, and the right employment opportunity that will challenge and embrace me?
So… what does all this have to do with crossdressing or transgender?
There is a gift that many of us have received but have stored away in hopes we can forget about it, or we have tried desperately to return it without the receipt. At times, it has been opened with excitement and hope, and then shamelessly tossed aside as someone has ridiculed it, thus making us feel bad for ever having wanted it. I know I stood in line at the (fictitious) customer service counter trying to return it or exchange it for a more “MANLY” gift. The funny thing about that exchange—it never made me feel better or brought me the same joy.
This gift is special. For many, this understanding is yet to come. I sincerely hope that it does for you. This gift is now my most cherished possession. Without it, I’m lost… in so many ways. If others knew how special it was to me, they would most likely turn their noses in disgust or ridicule it away. What they fail to see or even recognize is that when I accepted my gift, it dramatically changed me. Not just in a physical sense, (although I watch my weight better because of it,) but in an emotional and overall mental way.
I no longer fight with my inner-voices, nor do I worry as much about being outed—should it happen. Not everyone is at that place; I understand that, as do many of your sisters. It’s a rarity that we have a supportive spouse or family behind us. This gift would be so much easier to appreciate if we could place it on a shelf for all to see. Most of us who even accept the gift without trying to return it, hide it, only taking it out when no one else is around to admire. This gift, like so many others, is just that, a gift that will only have a true value to the person who receives it. As an author, it still amazes me when someone tells me that one of my novels touched them, just as I shake my head at some reviews and wonder, “Did they even read the book?”
The older that I’ve gotten, the more valuable this gift has become for me. I’m a crossdresser that is something more… what that more is, I’m still uncertain. This gift, once I accepted it for myself, against the negativity of those who condemn it, I found me. Yes… the me that loves to sashay in a party dress and ridiculously high heels and the me that enjoys the benefits of being manly occasionally. Most of the time, I’m somewhere in between. The remnants of two patterned lives merging into one in order to make living survivable, hopeful, and possible. This is what I know. If I were to transition, a large part of my personality wouldn’t change because I’m already of one mind. I don’t playact when I’m dressed, I’m more apt to act when not. (How I cross my legs, hold my hands, smile at others, hold conversations.)
Before you hide your gift away or try to exchange it, ask yourself honestly why. I totally get the need to be a man for my family, spouse, work, etc. Responsibility is the biggest ridiculer of our gift. It is the most frightening bully we will ever encounter, and it’s real. It is something you will have to come to terms with, some kind of arrangement. But this gift is not something to be ashamed of or eradicated in harmful ways. As a father, I was grateful when my daughters embraced traditional manly things (not talking about them wearing sweats and no makeup-men’s clothing) but rarely do you see a father feel good about a son embracing feminine things. We need to throw away the old standards and accept that they were always wrong and invoked by those who had an agenda (Most certainly-men and religion.)
There are few gifts that can bring me to tears or offer the hope that this special gift has done for me. If I’m ever lucky enough to be one of those who find a supportive partner, then my life will be even better. For now, I keep my gift close, sometimes in plain sight, but it is never out of mind or placed where I can’t quickly touch it. This gift helps to fulfil me in ways that I don’t understand, and others will never be able to conceive. It is a gift that I will always cherish and one that shall continue to appreciate in intrinsic value.
When you look in the mirror the next time. See yourself with your heart’s eyes and not your mind’s eye. It doesn’t matter whether you are dressed or not. You are who you are regardless of the clothes you have on. Let that feeling surround you and warm you like a Christmas fire (and spiked eggnog.) This gift can bring a healing to your soul. I know that it also brings tribulations as well. Find that balance that will allow you to be you and to do better than merely surviving. Find a way to live peacefully in heart and mind. It starts with being kind to yourself.
Happy Holidays to all of you! Until next time…