If I look back to the memories of the emotions I had when i started this blog, I was very much up and down about my dressing. Okay, mostly down which was not a good thing. Getting by with occasional dressing before work, frantically clearing away all signs, sneaking time to buy things, and trying to live in just one gender. Moments snatched in a busy life and feelings of shame or guilt around who I was. Not a rollercoaster ride I would recommend.
I think there’s a line between privacy, personal space, and hidden secrets. To live a life where a person must constantly check what they say, hide who they are: what type of life is that? Thankfully by being out to my dear wife, I was sheltered from some of that, even if I still struggled with the whole trans gig. A lot of internalised transphobia. Not that I would’ve understood that concept back then and so it went for a handful of years. Trying to cope with juggling to concepts that I couldn’t quite get to rest together.
I think I’d been going to Chameleons for a while when the penny dropped for me. A steady diet of meeting people like me and finding that this was, well, okay. Perhaps even – brave yourselves – normal? 🙂 If that old charlatan, Memory, is to be believed, it was as I got ready and checked my lippy. I’m okay with this, was what I heard in my mind. I remember the room, the sunlight coming in on a late evening, and the dress I had on. But mostly, it was a feeling of being at ease with who I was. Not a state of enlightenment, but just… being okay.
I’m okay with this.
A few words but a very powerful feeling. One of self acceptance and also the freedom that that brings. Yes, there were occasional set backs when my confidence wavered over the months and years, but in the main, I remain okay with this.
That self acceptance was a long time coming and I think it was only through the love of the Ever Lovely Mrs J and the support from those at Chameleons that I was able to be okay about who I was. It may sound cheesy, but between them, I think the nature of that gift of acceptance cannot be understated.
So, is there a lesson learned in an this? Glad you hung around to find out. 🙂 Being online is one thing, going out on your own is another, but going somewhere where people know, accept, and are friends with you? That’s quite something else. Having a sense of community and friends: I don’t think you can put a price on those.
If you are starting out or looking to step out once again, trans social and support groups do an awful lot of good. They’re certainly a good place to meet people on a similar path or situation to you. Perhaps with that as a common interest, you may find other this that you share. Dare I say that in these divided times – or so politics and social media suggest (‘cos they’re never wrong, right? 😛) – there’s more that unites than divides us. ❤️