I have said that there is so much more to my story than is first apparent, not unlike all of the other friends that are here to tell and to get help with their stories, yes stories. If I have learned anything, it is that you do write your own story. Sometimes you are pushed in a direction either by yourself or by outside forces, but once you find the right direction you will find yourself doing things that you were too scared to do or going to places you were scared to go, or just doing things to make yourself happier.
Is that not what we are all looking for, to be happy? Not just happy in being with family and friends, but happy with ourselves. I’m happy a lot of the time with the things outside of me and around me, I just know I have never liked me. That’s why I did a lot of what I have done all my life, not knowing that at times, although I would think I was happy, it never lasted very long. It is all making sense now that I have come out to family and the world.
The first real time I went out was when my daughter asked me to go shopping for Christmas and to get our nails done. I was scared to do this as I hadn’t been outside my house yet. Going out in public was a step I had always wanted to make, but I was afraid of what people would think or say. I eventually told her yes and found what I was going to wear that night. The nice thing is I had a therapy appointment that day before we would meet up at the nail salon. I was wearing a black knitted skirt, red long sleeve blouse, black panty hose, jewelry and black pumps. I did my makeup the best I could do, however, I also had a full mustache that I had not shaven off as of yet.
I went to my therapy and my therapist started cry, she was so happy for me. She said, that I looked beautiful, which I was so happy to hear her say that I started crying too. I asked her if I looked ridiculous with my mustache; she said “not at all, I have women clients with a bigger mustache then yours.” I didn’t believe her but it did make me feel better about myself. I went out that night for the pure fact that I just wanted to be my true self. It wasn’t to present as a woman because I’m not a woman, not even a transgender woman as of yet; but I understood that day that this is who I am, a transgender woman in the making.
My daughter and I went shopping that night in a large mall and went out to dinner afterwards, and not one person said a word to me other then a hi or hello, although I did get a couple of “good for you, you are so brave to be your true self.” At that time it was what I needed to help me find myself to move forward in my life. I continued to go out on my own, both to go shopping and to therapy appointments, although I had not come out to family yet; that didn’t happen until 10 months later. I did, however, lose the mustache 5 months into this journey.
Losing it was actually very hard and a big step moving forward. You see, I had had this mustache since I was 15 years old and it wasn’t this little peach fuzz thing – no no, it was somewhere between a Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott Stash, and in 45 years I had only shaved it off one time, and my wife said don’t ever shave that off again. That is why I was unwilling to remove it at the start of my journey and why removing it was symbolically a very important step. It was eliminating a very big part of my old identity and freeing me to continue my journey.
I’m not big into writing and never have been, but I felt if what I say can help someone to find themselves and to not have to stand at the edge of the bridge with little hope, then my story is worth the telling. Life is too precious not to live your true self, and if people have a problem with that, it’s not your problem it’s their problem.
My love to all.