What am I?
This is the question I’ve asked myself many times over the years.
The easy answer is; I am a NOBODY. Let me explain this answer.
I am not a celebrity nor am I an actor, singer, painter, author, or journalist. I am not a social blogger or vlogger; I am not a prominent volunteer or a politician. It’s not likely that I’ll paint a picture that people line up to see, or write or perform a song that people will rush out to buy. I will never invent an item or discover a cure that will change the world. I am not a parent, nor am I someone that family comes to for support or advice.
I have never done anything those around me will remember after I am deceased. I blend into the shadows and stay out of the public eye; I am the person you walk by without notice in the crowd. Some say that I am a natural leader, but it is never by choice, it is always circumstance that thrusts me into the role. I am more comfortable with my pets then I am with most people, and I am content with that.
Truth be told, I am a liar, deceiver, and most certainly a coward.
I’ve spent my time telling myself and the world around me that I am something I’m not and never was. I portrayed what those around me, my family, and society expected me to be and not what I felt inside. I knew I was different but never let the truth be known. I never had the courage to let those I care about know the real me. I let the world see the person they perceived acceptable, doing the jobs and playing the societal role expected of my status and gender. I lived a lie for all those years without taking the opportunity to let my true feelings be known or to live the life I felt that I should have. While never initiating it, I was that guy who would join in the joking sessions at others expense, harassing them for their clothing or other personal choices.
I was blessed to find someone who accepted me for who I was and also accepted all my little quirks and odd traits. My current wife was open when I told her of Winter; the other self I’d hidden from the world up to that point. With the help of my one and only love, I slowly came to accept my two selves and become more comfortable with who I truly was inside. With my spouses support, I further explored my desires and needs, and was better able to grow and develop Winter into the person I envisioned her to be.
For many years, despite the love and support I got from my wife, I was still afraid, still a coward who feared developing my femme persona in case it cost me my relationship. Despite the support, despite her willingness to buy me clothing, cosmetics and other feminine trappings, I still held on to a deep fear of rejection and ridicule from the only person I truly cared about and also from others I cared little about.
Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, my wife and I moved back into my parents’ home to help support them as best we could. This living situation curtailed me from being able to embody Winter, and my stress levels climbed. Combined with my employer folding their local office, it increased my personal stress and increased tension within our household. I sought the assistance of a therapist, who helped me to understand that the stress was of my own doing and was greatly increased by my denial of the steps I needed to take to be whole.
My father passed and my wife and I decided to stay with my mother to help her financially and emotionally. I have finally told my mother about my dressing, not going into detail, but letting her know I did “crossdress.”She was surprisingly ok with it as long as I did not “freak her out.” In other words out of sight out of mind. One day, I will develop the courage to tell her the full truth about her son.
Through all this, I’ve finally begun to accept my alter ego/other persona. I’m still afraid to take the next step required to live the life I would choose for myself. So, I guess for now, I will continue to lie to myself and the world; I will carry on deceiving those around me as to my true self, and I will continue to be the coward who fears the opinions and reactions of others in this life.
I am sure that many, if not all of these comments are familiar to those who take the time to browse this. This struggle with dual identities/personas is common amongst our small, but growing community. Many of us fight this struggle daily. Be strong and seize the opportunities that present themselves to further your goal to be the person you wish to be. If you are lucky like me and find a partner who accepts you for who you are, treasure and love that person and accept their support.
I cannot speak for others, but I can make the following statement with a loud voice, if only to myself right now.
I am and will always be Winter, a woman, and one day before long, I will let the world know just who I truly am.