It is Saturday, early evening, and I sit at home wondering what to do with myself during this unsure and stressful time. With a warmer than usual night and a somewhat quiet and subdued world outside my door, the thought crossed my mind that maybe just maybe it was time for Michelle to venture outside. It stems from knowing that a month ago I would have been out in public for the first time at Keystone.
I am truly saddened that the event was cancelled, but thankful knowing they decided our health and safety were far more important. Though I was unable to go to my first event as Michelle and meet some incredible people from CDH and TGH, who have become dear friends, I still feel optimistic that at some point I will make foray out into the world. As Gwenn, my amazing and loving partner in life has said, it is not a question of “if” but of “when.” I must admit the thought of going out in public has grown since first allowing myself to accept something hidden within and finally exploring those feelings with the help and support of this wonderful safe haven and its sibling site. I am sure many of you know that feeling well.
I keep thinking about all the recent steps that have led me to this point. Everything from telling Gwenn, finding CDH, becoming an ambassador, getting up the nerve to get dressed en femme for Halloween, to taking my first pictures as Michelle and posting them. The friendships and late-night conversations with some of the most amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to chat with; knowing that I am not alone. Even though all of us are at different points along our journey, we can share our experiences, dreams, fears, and hopes with each other. Take comfort that we have a place to go, albeit electronically, but that’s okay.
Both CDH and TGH give us the opportunity to learn, create or even recreate ourselves into being a truer us. It has been a life changing event getting to know myself as Michelle. I am no longer afraid to keep her locked up inside and forgotten. Instead, I embrace, nurture, and love who I am becoming and wait patiently to see where it will all take me. Earlier this year, I finally said aloud to a couple of friends on site that I have accepted that I am Gender Fluid and hope to continue to learn what that means for me.
I am not a fan of labeling myself or others because of the negative experiences I had growing up. I would prefer to just be me, but sometimes finding a label does help make sense of who we are. I see the power in being able to define oneself instead of society dictating how I should be identified. It is a freeing moment, and yet, I have not crossed the threshold and said to the world, “Here I am, and it doesn’t matter whether I am wearing a dress, heels and make up, or a suit; I am just me.” I know that I must plan and be prepared for when that day comes as best I can. I need remind myself that it’s not just me that this affects, but this amazing person who said yes to dating, then to moving in with, and finally in marrying me.
Being Michelle balances me in ways I never thought possible. I feel more confident, forgive myself easier, and smile a heck of lot more than before. I’ve noticed mannerisms that have crept into my other side and I don’t feel quite as uptight. Oh, I still have a way to go, with no delusions on the fact; this will possibly take the rest of my life to work on. I am happy in being able to finally put one foot in front of the other; pretty soon I will be walking out that door—preferably in a cute outfit and a pair of heels. Be kind to yourself and to each other.