Tag Archive | Gender identity

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Moved in!

20170314_150227[1]I’ve moved in! Well, actually, I’m in the process of moving in, but I have the apartment, and I moved the first of my things in this afternoon after work. It’s a little difficult seeing as how I’m trying to do this alone, with only a car to haul everything. Everyone who can help is out of town for spring break. So I’m doing this solo.

It’s not too bad, I suppose. I’m just happy that I have someplace to call my own. It’s really a process now, slowly rebuilding my independence. It’s scary that I’ll be on my own, but exciting that I’m leaving my safety net behind. Besides, I’ll have a place where I can be free to express myself!

What I’m looking forward to the most is my privacy, a place where I can read and write to my heart’s content. I haven’t allowed myself the opportunities to just sit down to read, or to write, like I want. There’s always something to distract me at the moment. Plus, I’ll be saving about an hour and a half on my commute to work!

I’ll probably wait a bit to move all of Stefani’s things into the apartment. I’m sure my parents will want to come by and nose around the place, open all the closets and cabinets to satisfy their curiosity. Once they leave, I’ll drive down the street to my friend’s place, pack all my things there, and haul them to my place.

It’ll be a nice assimilation of both of my genders, the male and the female. I won’t have to go anywhere to be either. I can express myself as I choose, whenever I choose. I can’t wait for that.

For now I need to get off. I have some more packing to do. Maybe my family will be back soon, and they can help me move my things over, especially the larger things that won’t fit into my car. For now, goodnight!

 

Step one

20160916_194724.jpgTomorrow I have an appointment with two different apartment complexes, both in Amarillo. I’m super stoked about it. I’m also a little anxious, nervous, and terrified. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve lived by myself. Getting set up again is a little overwhelming. I have to completely rebuild.

Saying all of that, I’m ready to rebuild. I’m ready to get my life situated so that I can be independent again. I’ve relied on family longer than I had intended. I have a natural resistance to change. Complacency is one of my characteristics that I generally despise in myself. I settle for the status quo until something forces me to change.

That’s not entirely true in this case. For the most part, I enjoy the company of my family. It’s familiar, it’s cozy, and there’s a sense of family that I lacked for years, even during my marriage. All the same, there’s a sense of freedom that I’m lacking. That’s my primary motivation. The commute to and from work is secondary.

I’m looking forward to having my own sanctuary. I’m looking forward to having a place where I can be Stef whenever I want. I really want a place where I can have my things with me. At the moment, Stefani’s things are at a friend’s apartment, and I have to limit what I have. Living alone, I’ll be free to buy clothes, makeup, shoes, and other things to my heart’s content.

This is going a little faster than I had intended, but I’m fine with it. If I’m lucky, I’ll have a place by the end of the week. I’m not holding my breath, but I am hopeful. The the process of furnishing my own place will begin. That’ll be fun.

Losing my secret piecemeal

20161014_144317I went and sat down in the HR manager’s office at the end of my shift just to talk before heading out for the day. We were talking and I brought up that I wanted to find a therapist because I felt that I had some issues to work through. She said I didn’t but I disagreed. That’s when she brought up my Facebook page, and asked if this was the issue I was needing to talk about.

The fact that someone else knew about this part of my identity would have sent me into a panic a few months ago, but the idea that I’m not a secret no longer terrifies me. The more people know, the freer I feel. It’s like I expected the world to end because people were finding out about my gender identity. What I’m discovering is that, at least within my small circle of friends and acquaintances, it’s really a non-issue. They accept it.

I still feel a need for therapy, partly because of my gender identity, but also for my feelings of repressed rage and self-loathing. I’ve become somewhat adept at keeping my anger at bay, but when I’m exhausted, as I was last week, all my angers, resentments, fears, and feelings of rejection, came bubbling up to the surface, damaging a friendship in the process. Maybe irrevocably.

A think a large part of my problem stems from keeping myself a secret for so long. It took a lot of energy to conceal my true identity that I didn’t have much to spare on socializing. I never learned how to date, not really, and making friends has always been a problem. I’ve always felt like an outsider, alone, rejected, unworthy of love and affection, that I latch on to any scrape of hope whenever there’s even the remotest glimpse of it, and I fall apart when it turns out to be an illusion. Worst still, I don’t recognize genuine affection when it slaps me in the face

It’s a lot to process, and accepting that I really need help has been hard for me. The macho, I-don’t-need-no-help part of my personality is still trying to keep a firm grasp on this secret that has become an open secret, and soon a widely known truth. I’m not strong enough to muscle my way through this, nor wise enough to deal with the process of coming out. I need guidance, first on a purely therapeutic level, then on a spiritual level.

I’m thinking about telling a priest friend of mine. We started college together, over twenty years ago. We both started out as music majors, and both served as musicians at the Catholic Student Center, I on the guitar, and he as a singer. I changed majors and eventually dropped out. He accepted the calling to serve the Lord, which I didn’t find at all surprising. He is a good man, and a good priest.

At some point, I recognize that my family will have to be told, but that’s still some time away. I still don’t know if I want to transition completely, or if I’ll be content to be a part-time woman, which is an odd thing to say. I hope you understand what I’m saying. I present myself as male because that’s what’s expected of me. It’s as natural as breathing. But I long for more. I wish to no longer put up pretenses. Maybe then, I’ll find someone to love, someone to love me, too.

Strides

20160612_213735This duality in my life is really exhausting. Like flat out, I’m weary to the very core of my being. My friend V says I should just come out. It’s easy for her to say, being openly bisexual, not that coming out would have been easy for her. I’m still stuck on self-preservation mode, though I’ve found myself setting up to be outed at any time.

The issue I have is that it’s not easy having the conversation with people. How do you do it? I don’t know how, and I’ve had that conversation a few times now. I’ve told several friends about my identity, that I’m not in fact the man they see, but a woman who struggles with the image she sees in front of her.

So my life is one of contrast and duality of spirit and body. As such, I feel that not entirely one or the other. On the contrary, I’ve felt that I’m neither, some oddity, a mistake made by a Creator who wasn’t paying attention when I was made. If God makes no mistakes, then he purposely made me like this, else there is no God. So which is it?

It’s difficult to exist in such a manner. People see me as a man for that’s the way I’ve chosen to present myself, accepting the role society place on me on the basis of my apparent sex and gender. Who I am is not what can be seen by the naked eye. It’s invisible, a matter of spirit rather than physical.

Even on those divine moments when I have a chance to dress as Stefani, what I see is in discord to what I feel. I see too much of the male peaking through the carefully made-up face I put on. I only feel somewhat feminine the moment I put on my wig. Until then, I’m just a weirdo wearing makeup and women’s clothes. If clothes make the man, does hair make the woman?

I feel as though I will come out fully sooner rather than later. It’s gnawing at me, the perpetual itch begging to be scratched. I want the world to know me as I am rather as they perceive me to be. One day, I’ll heed V’s advice and simply come out to the world, resplendent in my true identity. I wonder how much of my introversion is a result of living a lie. I wonder if living the truth instead with set me free, bringing me out of the prison that I’ve been cursed to live my life.

Until then, I’ll continue to make strides. I’m leaving for Dallas on Friday morning, and I’m almost entirely sure that Stef will make the drive. I plan to spend some time as myself while at my friend’s house. I even had my friend A tell her husband about Stefani. He’s still reeling from shock.

And now even more people from work have been let into my secret. Soon, the entire place will know. When that happens, will I tell my family? How will they react? Will the accept or reject me? They, more than anyone, are the reason I haven’t come out. I love my family, and the threat of losing them is more than I can bare. We’ll see, I suppose. Until then, small strides, one step, one day at a time.

Hit on me

14380031_1820764894825556_4160875774869280156_oI was hit on in a Walmart parking lot two Saturdays ago! I dressed up to go out to The 212 Club, which I’m increasing finding abhorrent, but that’s a topic for another time, when I decided I had had enough. We decided to leave but wasn’t quite ready to go back to the apartment. I asked my friend if she needed anything, and so we went to the Walmart on Amarillo Blvd.

It was uneventful, for the most part. We walked around, and I took the opportunity, since I dressed as Stef and it was late and the store was relatively empty, to look at clothes. We spent maybe half an hour looking at t-shirts and yoga pants before checking out and heading to the car.

I had just stepped into my car and started to back out when someone parked beside me and waved me down. Thinking I had left a bag on the roof of my car, I drove back into the parking spot, got out, and checked to see if there was something I forgot. Seeing nothing, I turned and looked inquiringly at the the guy who flagged me down. He was a skivvy looking man, with a handful of bills. He said he had noticed me walking around and the asked for my name. He had to repeat himself when I asked what he had said, thinking I must have misunderstood him.

I was stuck dumb. I stood there for a moment, mouth agape, in stock at what had happened. I’ve never been hit on. No man or woman has ever given me the time of day, so I admit that I didn’t know how to handle it. I came out of my shock and immediately got into my car and locked the door. The man, angry at my rejection, backed out and raced out of the parking lot. I waited to see where he was headed so I could leave. My friend beside me thought it was amusing and laughed at my discomfort.

Had it been a decent looking man instead of someone who looked as though they were using drugs, I may have played along. I’m not above wanting the attention of another man. I’m single and available, and though I would prefer a woman, sometimes I think having a boyfriend would be nice.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have an opportunity like that again, but I kind of hope I will. I would prefer it to be a clean cut man, with pride enough to have a job and enough money to take care of himself. I’m not asking for some Greek Adonis, a god in stature, though I wouldn’t say no to it, lol. My biggest fear is contracting some terrible disease from someone. Though the hysteria of the late 80’s and 90’s has subsided, HIV and AIDS is still a grim reality, and one I want to avoid. Am I being paranoid?

I don’t think so.

Quiet September

img_20160903_1936571It’s been quiet lately in Stefani’s world. I’ve been closing a lot these past few weeks, and I tend to dress after work, so opportunities to dress up have been few and far between. I had hoped to meet another friend of mine last Tuesday, another crossdresser in town, for dinner, but plans fell through. I was disappointed, of course, but I understood. I hope she’s feeling better now, and I pray we can reschedule soon.

My hair is getting longer now. In fact, it’s driving me crazy. I kind of want to get the clippers and buzz it off. It’s at that awkward stage when it’s not long enough to do anything with, but long enough to get in the way. It’ll be several more months before I can do anything with it, and maybe up to a year before it’s as long as I need it. I can’t wait!

Now that it’s getting cooler, I’m needing to start buying myself some winter outfits. I do have a few, but I need more. I also need to buy myself a couple of jackets, a leather one so I can look like a kick-ass bitch, and something a little more sophisticated.

A friend from work with whom I confided my secret is wanting to take me shopping. I have my usual partner that I go shopping, but another couldn’t hurt. She’s wanting to take me to Maurices, should our bonus checks from work be large enough. I’ve never been in there. I wonder what’s in there. I wonder if there’s anything I’d like.

It’s crazy how invested I’ve become in this. I’ve come along way from my purging days, where I’d buy a few things, hide them, then become disgusted with my perversity and throw everything away, only to have my compulsion force me back into the cycle. Now I’m trying to build as large a wardrobe as possible. I’m staring to shift gears and buy more comfortable articles, shorts and t-shirts. I’m wanting to buy some capris, but I do believe they’re out of season. Damn it!

I brought another person into my circle recently. Actually, I had my bestie tell her husband about me. She told me that he wasn’t all to surprised by it. I think he had suspected I was a little on the gay side, so me being transgender wasn’t too much of a shock. I’m not gay, by the way, not that it matters. I’ve come to the conclusion that as far as Stefani is concerned, I’m bi.

Hopefully I can dress up this weekend. I desperately need it. The only thing is that I have nowhere to go. Gone are the days when dressing up and hiding all day in my friend’s apartment was sufficient for me. Now I want to dress up and go out. I love being out in public. I’m just not in a place where I can do so comfortably.

 

And yet another

20160824_150210It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I’m still alive, though extremely exhausted. Work has been brutal these past two weeks, and I don’t see it letting up anytime soon. I could use some time off. I should look into scheduling a vacation.

Things on the Stefani front is still about the same. I did bring someone else into the fold, my cousin. It began when she brought up a guy we went to school with, someone I always wondered if he was transgendered. There was something about him that made me suspect that he was.

That conversation led me to disclose my own gender identity, though I was nervous to do so. I opened myself up to her, and we ended up talking until after midnight. She was surprised by supportive. I showed her a picture, and she was amazed that I didn’t come across a some drag queen. I took that as a compliment.

Earlier, I had wondered out loud whether I should grow my hair back out, and she pieced it together, that my desire to grow my hair was an extension of my gender identity, and my loathing for wigs. She then made the suggestion that I should try to use extensions instead.

We talked clothing, makeup, and other girl things, which I found quite strange, but oddly satisfying. I could drop all pretenses and be me. It was great. I felt free, happy that at least I have an ally in the family. She did agree with me that my parents would never accept me, nor would my sister, but that’s a longer conversation.

What I hate is that I don’t have ample time to me Stef, only the occasional stolen moments. A friend asked me if I intended to transition, and all I could say is that I didn’t know. I’ve maintained that I had no intentions to do so, but this pull is getting stronger, and though I’m unwilling at the moment to say that I will do so, I have to concede that it is a possibility.

I don’t have to make up my mind yet. I can still dress when I have the chance. It’s the best I can do, and it’s fine for the time being. I have found some measure of peace whenever I do get to dress. I have found happiness, though only for brief moments of time.

Opening up my circle

13908956_1801598180075561_1473466685205957204_oWhat a crazy week. I don’t know whether to feel exhilarated, exhausted, or some combination of the two. It’s been a whirlwind of emotion, elation and suspense, all threatening to send me over the edge into a full-flown anxiety attack. Somehow I have made it, but I can go over at any time.

First, my outing. My coworker couldn’t make it to 212 on Saturday night. I had  feeling, and after the rough day I had at work, I decided I didn’t want to go. I had people call in sick, and then my assistant manger left at noon, leaving me to run the store on my own, without an experienced person in paint, so that I had to spend most of my day there, in addition to being the only manager-on-duty.

Further to that, a woman I work with was telling me about her ex, that we work with, that’s trying to get into her good graces again, showing her things on his phone that she’s rather not know. Curious, I asked her as to what it could be, and like the proverbial cat, I was skinned right there. She replied that he had shown her a certain picture, and that I probably know what she was talking about. She gave me no doubt as to the subject, which of course was me, as Stefani.

She was okay with it, for the most part, though it felt as though my world was slipping out of my fingers. Fearing that I was being whispered about, I went back to the paint desk, where a friend of mine had finally come in, and told her about Stefani. Actually, she told me, after I started talking about my alter ego. She was like “You talking about Stefani? That popped up on people’s Facebook about 8 months ago.”

So after work, I text my friend, freaking out, and she casually asked if I wanted a beer, and she wanted to finally meet Stefani, before everyone else did. I suggested 212, and she agreed. When the time came, she backed out, claiming she wasn’t in the mood. Neither was I by that point, and told her that the only reason I came out, was because of her. In the end, we ended up on her patio, drinking beers. It was nice, but weird to be out in front of someone I know. She loved my look, by the way.

Now, two days later, I decided that I needed to come out to my Store Manager at work. I figured that if people are talking about me, that if I’m being outed, that she needed to know, to preempt any problems that my arise, namely for my own safety.

Which brings me tangentially to my trip to OKC. I drove back en femme, getting back just in time to wash my face, shower, and dress for work. While there, my manager made a comment that it looked like I had eyeliner on. I must have had an arrested expression on my face, because she didn’t continue joking about it, though I tried to save face, and made some flippant jokes about it.

So back to today, sitting in her office, quivering with nervousness and fright, opening up to someone about myself, especially something I’m so protective about. I felt so vulnerable at that moment, confessing the biggest part of me. Those of you who are crossdressers  and transgenders know the fear. Those who have come out as gay know as well, I assume.

I sat there, in her office, across from her, and opened my soul. She was shocked and amazed, and extremely grateful that I shared that with her. Of course she’s been out as a lesbian for years, and understands the struggles. I told her that I am an extremely private person, but people have found out, and that I didn’t want any problems at work. To make a long story short, she promised to have my back, and that I shouldn’t fear that anything would jeopardize my job.

The thing I want to stress with this is that I didn’t come out as a crossdresser. I came out as transgender. It was freeing for me to speak to it, feeling the boundaries slowly slipping away. It’s amazing, and wonderful, and I’m happier for it. I feel the pretenses slipping away, slowly allowing me to be me.

I’m a long way from begin out all the way. I’m not ready for that, assuming that I ever will be. Considering where I began, I’m still amazed at my own progress and daring. My biggest fear is my family. I have no reason to believe that they will accept me for who I am. I have every reason to believe that they would disown me, the embarrassing son, destined for Hell.

And I’m afraid of the flames of Hell, but living a lie is its own torture. Coming to accept myself has given me the freedom to be happy. I’m happier now than at any other time in my life. It’s not easy, and the fear is overwhelming, but it’s getting easier.

Clubbing plans

0539cd1cc6a401270e0b416536677547291df9-v5-wmI’m planning on a girls night out come Saturday night. The only question is will it actually happen? I really hope so. My coworker, then one I spoke of on my previous blog, has been saying we need to go to Club 212 this weekend, and I agree. It feels good to have someone else in on my secret.

So, tomorrow after work, me and by friend are planning on going to do a bit of shopping. A girl needs clothes, after all. I think I’ll go with something on the casual side, maybe a little metal and a little grunge, but keeping with my demure style, as my friend calls my usual mode of dress. I call it secretary-chic, but to each their own.

I’ll try to see if my coworker want to have lunch tomorrow. We have yet to have a chance to talk, and I really want to, before we go out to the club. I want a nice, quite place where we can talk in peace. I know she has questions, and I want to answer them for her. I have precious few people with whom I can talk to freely about this. So far, I only have my two best friends, a friend in DFW, and a crossdresser in town that wants to remain anonymous. I’m trying to keep my identity a secret, but to do so, I would have to disengage from the internet, and I’m not willing to do that. I refuse to hide ever again!