First off; it’s been a long month for me. My mother passed somewhat unexpectedly at age 88 before Thanksgiving. Dealing with dementia and declining health-stage 3 lung cancer, we admitted her to the hospital to find the cause of her recent tiredness and increased need for oxygen. Two days later, hospice called to meet, and she was gone in less than two days. I still have my father to look after, 94 and mostly going strong. My daughters were beyond valuable as things unfolded.
On the brighter side of life, my health is better than it has been in nearly 3 years. I’ve lost close to 30#, and I’m nearly back to a decent size. I still have 15-20#s to go to get to my personal and best-perceived weight. Me, like many of you, wish to be the Barbie doll we sometimes imagine in the mirror’s reflection. Our pictures never lie—even as we do. Sometimes, being male and beautiful is like gazing at our reflection in mud. It covers the age, the out of proportion body that we try to fit into that stunning evening dress, and the attempt at glamour makeup over garish. It is an extreme rarity for any CD to be amazing in all areas, let alone a cis woman.
Many of us live in the nether world of make-believe. I’m not here to condone that but to support it. Our mud reflection gives us a glimpse of what might be or might have been if our lives could be or were different—that feminine perspective. I look on with envy at the women on this site who have perfected their makeup skills or has the feminine shape that is coveted by us and many generic women alike. Each of us has one thing in common; we see and embrace the femininity within.
We are our greatest critics and our strongest supporters—when we aren’t wallowing in self-doubt and anxieties. We allow ourselves to see beyond the clear reflection to the muddy one. It brings us peace and speaks to the soul that cries for answers and attempts to survive the anguish of our daily lives and responsibilities. Raise your hand if you would gladly take the pill to become totally female or have the superpower to transform into our Faceapp version of ourselves. We can’t, so we apply lots of makeup to bring her out, bind our stomachs with compression garments, paint our nails, and throw on our Sunday best to clear away some of the muddy reflection. It’s enough, and it isn’t.
I stay in the closet more out of fear and my responsibilities to those I care about. Would that change if I did? Most certainly. Would it be okay? I don’t know. If it happens, it happens. I didn’t have a supportive spouse (see my other articles) although I would love to meet someone who would be. I’m more than a crossdresser; something I now value about myself and see as a strength rather than a sickness. I adore the feeling of keeping most of my body shaved—legs especially in the colder months, and in my daily ritual of placating my feminine side before I let the male side interact with the world. Sometimes I wish for so much more, but I’m sincerely thankful for what I do allow myself to have.
I remember trying to go weeks, months, even years in between the opportunity to dress. That affliction I could never quell or bury deep enough. The stress it would cause until I was hateful to myself and those around me. Each of us has to take our own steps, in our own time, regardless of what others propose to be the “true path” to follow. You don’t have to go out in public, you don’t have to shave your legs, and you don’t have to pee sitting down… You only have to be you. You are on the spectrum of genderism. From 100% female to 100% male. I don’t believe that there are many if any 100 percenters out there. If you strip away the societal garbage and politics, it is much easier to realize that by sheer genetics we are a combination of our mother and father’s DNA. Thousands of years have only spread it more, which is one of the reasons that I believe we have so many who now question their place on the spectrum. I believe it will continue to grow and become something that will eventually cause the world to uniformly acknowledge; and what a better world it will be. Not in my lifetime I’m afraid, maybe not for generations.
So…slap some mud on your reflection and let your heart and soul find their peace, even if it’s only for an hour or once in a blue moon. There is nothing wrong with you or me…I’m still not going to stand on top of the mountain and shout it out, but I can achieve a calming balance. This site gives us the ability to share in our commonalities and to be both students and mentors to others. When you are about to chastise someone for being afraid of doing what you do or feeling differently, stop and remember that we all want to walk in those spectacular heels, but our feet come in sizes that many of those shoes won’t accommodate. Let’s not be judgmental and instead be uplifting and when possible—truthful and caring, and beyond all else, kind.
The muddy reflection exists for all of us. No one is asking for you to douse it with Windex and wipe it away. We also don’t need you to add extra mud either. If you can, like one another’s pictures, refrain from criticism, respond compassionately to forums, articles, and in chat. Share your stories in the article section—your triumphs as wells as your heartbreaks. In this little corner of the world, we are an extended family. When you find self-forgiveness, you can forgive the worst in others. A lesson that I again recently learned with the death of my mother. Her failing health caused some friction between my father and me. Now, I see only the man who has been there for her, my sister, and me. I’m blessed to have him in my life, and I will make sure that he knows it from now on.
I feel the same way with those of you who are members here and on CDH.
Play in the mud, and may you find joy and happiness in your lives.
Until next time…
More Articles by Sabrina MacTavish
- Here’s the Thing
- Seeing Red
- When the Dress comes off
- A Tribute to Virginia Prince and Transvestia