Tag Archive | Catholic

Taking a break

20170826_170048I’m on vacation! I drove down to my friend’s place after work on Friday, in Stef mode of course. It meant that I couldn’t leave immediately after work, but it was worth the wait.

My first day went well. I spent all morning in bed, catching up on my sleep. When I actually dragged myself out of bed, I got dressed, ate, and headed to Commerce to visit my stepdaughter. It was the first time she was introduced to me in Stefani mode. It was the first time my ex-wife has met Stefani as well. It was a little scary, but the accepted me and it was marvelous. My stepdaughter even made me a choker.

Then me and friend went to Greenville to do some shopping. I worked in Greenville and know quite a few people. I was a little eager to run into some old friends and acquaintances, but it didn’t happen. I was a little bummed. The more I go out, the more I desire to be out.

On that note, I went and met someone this past Wednesday. Back in April, I met with an old friend who is now a priest in Hereford. I told him about me, about my journey, and my struggles, and he suggested I meet with someone, a spiritual advisor. I finally met her and I was apprehensive. I didn’t know what to expect. Being Catholic, I expected more resistance, but instead I got understanding and love. I was surprised.

It was a freeing experience to talk about me, what I was going through, what I was struggling with. It was heartening to hear that I wasn’t being rejected or belittled. I was being validated from someone within the church that I call home. She even apologized to me for how the church has treated me and made me feel.

Going forward, we will meet once a month. In addition, she wants to help find a counselor for me, someone experienced with the  LGBTQ community. Fr. Tony had mentioned it as well, that I displayed symptoms of depression. In addition, I would like that help to help guide me to the decision of whether or not transitioning is right for me. Somedays I think it is, others I think it would be a mistake. It’s too big a decision to make on my own, though I recognize that decision will ultimately be my own to make.

I’m also continuing my video channel, even if I don’t get many views. It’s another avenue to talk about my journey. I’m not very good at it, but at least the quality has improved from my first. I finally posted my third video, and I’m planning on recording another one on Monday, talking about my meeting with my spiritual advisor.

I want to thank everyone, while I’m at it, for reading and following me. I know I’m not a leader within the community. I’m just some girl spilling her heart and soul to the world. This is more a diary than a forum. What I would like to say is that it’s a lonely road sometimes, and that I appreciate hearing from you, even if I’m terrible about responding.

For those of you who are transgender, I hope that what I’m saying helps you in some way, even if only to tell you that you aren’t alone. If you know someone who is transgender, then try to be understanding. It can be confusing at times, especially when you start coming to terms with what it means.

I love you all.

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From then until now

It was a year ago that I took my first roadtrip as Stefani. I drove to Oklahoma City, spent the entire time dressed up, did some sightseeing, and drove back, without once changing into my male alter ego. I didn’t even take him clothes. It was a scary and exhilarating experience, and one I will never make again.

Since then, I’ve grown bold in my femme persona. As I write this, I’m in a coffee shop in Amarillo, a few blocks from where I work, wearing a skirt and blouse. Being Stef is less of an issue. I’m still apprehensive about it, especially with all the negativity thrown our way via the politicos in Washington and Austin, but no one gives me a second glance. I’m invisible.

Part of it is growing more comfortable in my skin. My first forays were spent in a state of hyper anxiety, waiting to be called out. But the more I have gone out, the less anxious I have become, learning to relax and enjoy my time out. The more comfortable I’ve become, the less attention I draw to myself.

Since my trip to OKC, I’ve gone out several time to DFW, visited the Arboretum there. I’ve driven to Lubbock and spent the day. I’ve started going out during the day here in my city. I’ve let more and more people into my life, the fear of being discovered having less power over me.

Only last week, I drove to Dallas, spent the entire time as Stef, and even visited my old work place. No one bothered to pay me any attention. I spend almost all my free time as Stef, only going out as Joe when it’s necessary, or when I go to work. I’m not yet ready to introduce myself as Stef there, even if most people already know.

Where I am now is coming to the decision that it’s time to move on. I never meant to stay in Amarillo, and I think my time here is coming to an end. I think that by next spring I’ll be ready to make the move to DFW. I’ll transfer to another Home Depot around the McKinney area, or maybe I’ll consider looking for another job altogether.

I’ll admit that I want to go to work as Stef. I want to live as Stef. The act of transitioning is growing more on my mind. I feel no rush when I dress up any more. I do not feel the excitement as I once did just to step out the door. It feels natural, it feels right, I feel like me.

I’m supposed to call someone my friend has recommended I talk to. She’s out of town until this coming week, but I’ll meet with her as soon as possible. I need to know how to proceed with my life, and my spiritual life is just as important to me as my physical well being.

There’s a lot to look forward to, and I can’t wait to live my life. My only regret is that I waited this long to come to terms with who I am. I can’t change the past, but I can make the right decision going forward. Here’s to me.

Feeling blue

20170415_215759This has been a good month, more or less. Since moving to Amarillo, I’ve been able to go out and about at my leisure, without having to be accountable to no one but myself. I have the ability to lounge around my place, dressed up or dressed down, usually shorts and a t-shirt, without worrying about who may catch me. I missed this freeing feeling!

On the downside, I have a lot less disposable income, very little to spend on make up and clothes, though I did buy some Clinique powder, having decided to upgrade the quality of my makeup, slowly. I would like to buy more clothes, though having moved the majority of it to my place, I do have a decent wardrobe built up already!

On the negative, I hit a rough patch last weekend, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically. The weight of everything seemed to press upon me, pushing me under like a woman on the verge of drowning. I was at once exhausted and terrified. Tired of life and living, almost of the point of being unable to function. I was scared for a moment of being alone, that I might actually do harm to myself. I considered checking into , but I refrained. I worked for the company that owns that hospital, and I don’t like the way the conduct business.

Ultimately, I ended up messaging a friend I went to college with, who’s now a priest. He messaged me back to let me know he would be free after 7:30, and I met him at the parish offices to discuss what was bringing me down. After our perfunctory greeting, we sat down and I started to open up to an old friend.

There was no look of judgment in his eyes, though I may have detected a little bit of shock. He was as warm and friendly as ever, giving me pastoral advice, and listening to me both a a spiritual adviser and a friend. My fear of being rejected was alleviated, and he promised to walk with me where ever my path should lead, that he would love me even should the time come that I decide I must transition. That eased the burden weighing on my heart.

His first reaction was to say that he thought I bore the symptoms of clinical depression and suggested I find someone to deal with that, as he is not equipped and trained to deal with depression. He suggested a few resources for me to consider, offered someone he knew to act as a spiritual adviser, and offered to do so himself as I needed and his time allowed.

In the end, I came out feeling, if not well, at least better about my situation. I’m glad I opened up to him. I have felt better about myself in the past week, not feeling so hopeless and alone. I have another ally on my side. I guess I should feel fortunate, and I do, when the demons don’t push me to feel nothing at all.

Accepting myself

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Being silly – being me! Stefani Lara 2015

I’m surprised at myself for having the courage(?) to actually post pictures of myself, namely my face, for all to see. I’ve hidden myself behind closed doors for years, even going so far as to deny myself the simple act of personal acceptance. I tried to pretend I wasn’t a crossdresser, even though I knew in my heart that was who I truly was. I’m accepting it now, in this very public forum. I’m a boy who loves to wear girls clothes! Sometime I feel as though I’m truly a girl at heart.

There’s still some confusion for me. The Christian Right would love to hear me say that. “He’s just confused!” I know what I am. I know who I am. Sometimes I lack the ability to define exactly that because I’ve repressed my true self for too long. I’ve lied about it for so long that the lie became a mask, one that I had forgotten I wore. The mask has slipped enough that I can question the person peering back at me in the mirror.

“Who are you?”

“What are you?”

“Are you real?

“Am I?”

I have eschewed definitions for so long, labels being a construct of a society bent on establishing societal norms. But I have come to realized that norms are not inherently evil. There are niceties to preserve, common decency to uphold. What’s missing is respect. We have become too partisan, attacking those who don’t agree with us. We’ve lost the ability to respect one another, even when we don’t agree. Especially when we don’t agree.

The time has come to define myself, though who I choose to define myself will remain fluid for some time. I’m a crossdresser. That’s simple enough. I’m straight. I’m attracted to women, though I do have flirtations with curiosity about my sexuality. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to go out with a man. I’m not ready to say yes to that. I may never be.

I’m divorced, my ex-wife unable to accept this part of me. I will never accept as a condition of a relationship, a denial of this part of me, one that I’ve come to realize is essential to my happiness, and indeed, my survival. I would rather remain alone that accept a conditional love. No thank you. Not again.

This is me accepting myself and showing my face to the world. Yes, I remain in my ways closeted to those in my life, especially my family. I’m terrified of having them find out my secret. I terrified that I would be disowned, ostracized for the sin of honest about who I am. I envy you who have had the courage to present themselves fully to their parents, family, and friends. One day I may join you, but I’m not ready. For now, this simple corner of the web will suffice. Soon, I’ll start to go out in public. I feel the urge to walk freely. I did so once, ages ago, and I will again.

For now, I’m content to experiment with my look. I can’t wait to buy another outfit and take another round of pictures to post. I’m grateful to have a friend who knows how to shop, and who has helped me find my size. I’m pleased with my progress, I look forward for the future.

This is me, and I’m starting to love me again.

The struggle between identity and faith

Here it is, another Friday night, and I’m lock up in my room, wishing I could go out and enjoy the nightlife. Sadly, for a girl like me, I don’t live in an area that’s conducive to being out. One, it’s the bible belt, and two, the area is so small that I would be bound to run into people I know. I haven’t really come out to people I know, except to a few that I really trust.

I’m currently looking for a job, hoping to move away from this depressing backdrop and find a place a little more accepting. That’s why I love living in the big cities. It’s easier to lose yourself in the crowd. It’s easier to find a community to belong to, a network of people who can accept me for who I am.

But that’s not why I wanted to write today….

I went to Mass today. I’m a practicing Catholic – which opens up another can of worms, one I’m not ready to talk about – and today was the Feast of the Assumption. I don’t want to get mired in talk of dogma and beliefs. I want to speak from the heart, about what I think while I sit quietly in the pew.

I stand, I sit, I kneel…, in short I follow the order of the Mass, and I do what is expected. I’m not so good at listening, however. My minds tends to wander down uncomfortable paths. I see women and young girls wearing dresses and skirts and I long to be one of them. I wish I could be out to enjoy worship as the person I am.

I imagine myself, as I do in other settings, wearing an appropriate length skirt, still sexy, but modest enough not to anger the congregation. I think about the feel of the pantyhose on my legs, the heels I would wear. Nothing slutty, again. I’m at church.

I daydream about earrings and jewelry, and even the kinds of tattoos I would like. In short, I want to present myself to God and to the world as the woman I desperately wish I were. Does that make any sense?

Sure, I could leave the Church and find another that would welcome me with open arms, but that’s not my way. I’ve made my peace with the guilt I felt about being Stefani and the duality that is implicit with being a crossdresser. I could no more stop being a Catholic than I could renounce myself. I am Stefani, but I’m also the man am forced to be for the sake of the community.

Moving back to the DFW area would help. I really, really need to find a well-paying job. I want to build up my wardrobes, both male and female. I want to have my own place, a home where I can be free to be Stefani.

I would have to compromise some and find a welcoming body of Christians, where I can be me without fear and embarrassment. I wouldn’t renounce my beliefs, but I could also worship as the person I feel I am. It’s not ideal, perhaps, but it’s better than existing as I am, a nobody in despair.

I just don’t know where to turn to for help. I guess that’s why I’m writing, not that I expect any help. I just needed to let out some steam before I blow up.