Tag Archive | Love

2017 and Beyond

20160918_153238If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 40 years of life is that life sucks. I’ve also come to learn that life is a marvelous thing. It’s one or the other, or it’s both. Life is a matter of perspective, and sometimes it’s simply a matter of attitude.

2016 has been both, but my perspective has changed, and so has my attitude. I’m focusing more on the positive, letting go of the negative, and enjoying life all the more for it. I can’t point to a specific moment in time, a decision that changed my whole outlook on life. It was a gradual change, one decision impacting the next, each affecting my mindset until the world no longer seems so ugly. The world hasn’t changed. I have.

I’m happier than I have ever been, partly because I’ve accepted me for me. The one whose acceptance was the hardest to gain was my own, but it was the most important one to win. I learned to love myself, and part of that was due to my friends who have embraced me this past year. I have opened a piece of myself to them, and found them to not only be accepting, but also that they loved me all the more. I couldn’t believe it! I love you all!

So as one year comes to a close, and a new one begins, I want to state that I am at peace with myself, probably for the first time ever. I have gained myself this year, and that’s a gift that many deny themselves, mainly because of how much that costs. I’m still have a long road ahead of me, but the journey doesn’t seem so daunting now. Moreover, I have friends who will stick with me. I count myself as blessed.

My resolutions are simply to live my life more fully, to read and write more, to open myself to the possibility of finding love and companionship, to become a true participant in my own life. I will enjoy the company of my friends, I will share this side of me with more people, and I will embrace the ride, forgetting the ultimate destination, because that’s what life is, a ride.,

So, Happy New Year, and I hope you keep reading. I’ll keep writing. And, if you don’t mind me asking, if you life what you read, please subscribe and share with your friends.

Love,
~Stef~

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Amor Vincit Omnia

20160924_220552I want a relationship. Kind of. I guess. Do I? Damn it, I don’t know! Why are we wired that way, to seek out the companionship of others, especially when we’ve been hurt to the very core? I’ve been hurt that way, making me curse the day I was even born. That’s a special kind of hurt. We’ve all been hurt somehow. We’ve all hurt someone as well.

I was talking about it to a friend, how I would like to meet someone, but that being Stef complicates things. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but most women want their men to be men. Some women are able to accept a crossdressing lover/boyfriend/husband. Some cannot. My ex-wife couldn’t, and I hadn’t dressed in years when we got together and throughout our marriage.

But I wonder about it, if I could accept a woman who wanted to be a man, who dressed as a man. Would I be receptive to that? If I were perfectly honest, I don’t think I would. So I get it. It’s asking a lot of a person to accept my duality. It keeps me from seeking someone out. Being rejected hurts, but I’m not one to hide this side of myself, even back when I was trying to hide it from myself. I’m honest about it to those I want to date. I value honesty in a relationship, and this is a big thing to hide.

The one thing she did share with me, by friend I was talking to, is that I seem happier now that I have in the past. When she first met me, and we met at work, I was angry. I was a ball of barely contained rage. I hated everyone. I especially hated women. I once said the only good woman was a dead woman. Yeah, not a recommendation for one’s sanity. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s the truth.

I’ve let go of that anger. It’s been a long process of healing, of forgiving, of acceptance. I had to forgive my ex’s for breaking up with me, for cheating, for breaking my heart. I had to accept that we weren’t meant to be together. I had to let go of that resentment. I had to come to understand that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. Scratch that. I’m still working on that.

But accepting Stefani is really what turned the corner. I’ve had to realize that happiness could only come by accepting me for me. I had to stop pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m not some normal man. I’m this odd duck, an other in a world of homogeneity. Once I accepted it, I learned that I’m not as unique as I thought. I’m not alone in this struggle.

And some of my sisters struggle with their love lives, too. Some have significant others that accept them for who they are. Some don’t. Some hide their femininity in a cloak of shame and despair. I’m still hiding, but not as carefully as I once was. I’m more of an open secret at this point.

But I’ve not yet made it to that place where I can be comfortable in an amicable companionship. Oh, there are a few guys who would be glad to make me theirs. I get hit on, at least online, but I recognize it for what it is, fetishists wanting to sate some deep-seated desire to fuck a tranny. I’m not a fetish! I’m an actual human being, thank you very much!

I’m a romantic at heart, and a lonely dreamer yearning for someone to make me whole. That’s a stupid dream, in all honesty. It’s something that I’m coming to learn lately, that I have to be the one to make me whole. I’m the one that makes me complete, that I should never yield that control to another. I’m responsible for my happiness, and if fate should allow me to meet someone, then my happiness will only grow from within me instead of being handed to me by someone else.

Regardless, I do want love. I want someone to hold in the lonely hours of the night. I want to be held as I slumber. I want a family of my own. I want that, as I always have, but have heretofore been denied.

Yet, as the saying goes, hope springs eternal. I have a lot to be hopeful for, more so than at any other time in my life. It’s nice to finally find acceptance with my friends. It’s nice to know that I have permission to be me. In the end, 2016 has been good to me. I look forward to 2017.

Looking back – 2016

img_20161221_2317061I can’t believe another year has come and gone. It’s amazing just how quickly the years fly by. The older I get, the quicker time seems to pass. It’s not a new phenomena. We all repeat the common refrain this time of year, I can’t believe how fast time flies by!

This past year, I met a fellow crossdresser for dinner for the first time. That was a huge step for me. No one had ever met me as Stefani, except for my two closest friends. I was nervous, but it went well, and we’ve met one other time. I’m still hoping for a third dinner date, *fingers crossed*!

I took my first trip as Stefani this past summer, checking in to a hotel as spending the entire time en femme. We went out, did some shopping, had lunch at an Olive Garden, and went to the museum and the Botanical Gardens. I was so nervous, but I had such a great time. I hoping for more such trips!

This is also the year that I’ve let more people into my secret. I told another woman, one whom I hold in high regard, and honestly have a thing for, and she accepted me. Yay! She’s even met me a couple of times as Stefani, the most recent last week at 212. That was a blast, btw!

Several people know about me, and they seem okay with it. I have people to talk to about this side of me, a side that I kept well hidden for more than two decades. I feel happier than I ever have in my entire life. I’m beginning to feel that it’s okay for me to be me.

As such, I’ve become more confident in myself, and have gone out in public here in town, something I swore I’d never do. I’ve allowed myself to meet people, though I would love to meet a lot more. It’s so freeing to just be me!

I never thought I would change so much in twelve short months I never thought I would ever let anyone know my truest self. I know I still have a long road ahead of me, but I’m glad I’m no longer alone. I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes me. For the first time in my life, I feel happy, and that’s the best thing I can say has ever happened to me.

I wish you all a very Happy 2017, and thanks for reading!

 

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.

Bared Soul

IMG_20160426_213221I bared my soul a little last night. It’s one of the hardest things for me to do, to let someone in. It’s a side effect of being an introvert. Couple that with the fact that I’ve kept me a secret all my life – for years even  from myself! – and you’ll understand that I’ve become adept at building walls. While there are those who have succeeded in scaling those walls, at least partially, I’ve hesitated with giving them free reign.

There are those few friends with whom I feel free and safe to let them see me for who I am. I’m not talking only about being a transgender woman, but of being free from the labels inherent in gender and sexuality, of being true to my most honest essence of my soul. Were you to ask me if I believed in soulmates, I would give you an unequivocal yes, with one caveat; that true soulmates are not necessarily romantic in nature. My best friend is, I believe, the truest soulmate I could ever ask for.

So imagine that I’m out in drab mode, out with a woman with whom I may have feelings for, and with whom exists a glimmer of possibility of something existing – not that I believe it likely. It’s only an post work drink with another coworker. We had gone on one date the previous month, though circumstances made it almost impossible for a repeat. I had told her then, under the influence of several beers, that I should have been a woman.

Last night I summoned my courage, took out my phone, and showed her this picture. Her face betrayed a brief look of shock of amazement, saying that I was actually pretty. We talked a little about gender and sexuality, but there was no hint of rejection, only acceptance of who I am.

IMG_20160426_213548Now, I have no real hope that I’ll ever find romance in my life, even with her. I’m too open and upfront with my being transgender for romance to be a real possibility. For all the brouhaha  over acceptance, it’s just that, brouhaha. It’s fine in theory, but in reality something someone else will have to practice, at least in my experience.

But I’ve let someone else into my confidence. I have a lifetime’s worth of experiences yet to be shared, but this, my most private secret, is out. I will not hesitate to share this side of me if there’s a chance of something more, for I will not go for a relationship founded on secrecy and deceit. I have before, always to my detriment.

What it will cost me, I know, is the same price I have paid time and again, a chance to find someone with whom to make my life. I may be giving up forever a chance to realize my most deepest desire, that of a wife, a home, and a family to call my own. It breaks my heart a little more whenever I think about it.

It pains me, you must understand, that being Stefani brings me little joy. It’s a burden that I’m learning to make peace with, but not a gift I can treasure. The ironic truth is that to find peace and happiness, I have to give up the illusion that Stefani doesn’t exist. I am Stefani. To deny her is to deny myself, and to deny myself is to live a lie. The truth, in all its agony and glory, is magnitudes more desirable than to live behind half-truths and complete lies.

But I will admit this, being Stefani does make me happy in one way. I do love the feeling of feeling pretty. I just wish I would have been born true to myself, aligned in mind, body, and soul, instead of being born into a prison of lies from which I have no true escape.

Crush

12622148_1716654558569924_6324210350546153074_oA girl has a crush on me. I say a girl, but it’s a woman. I’ve only met her once, but I thought she was pretty enough, but that was months ago. She sent me a friend request on Facebook, which I accepted. She was after all, I thought, a friend of a friend I knew from high school.

We didn’t communicate much other than the occasional comment. Usually it was her commenting of something, but I won’t split hairs here. A few weeks ago, after posting a picture of me sitting in the waiting room of Safelite, my rear window needing to be replaced, she made a comment, which I promptly replied to. We went back and forth for a while before my high school friend sent me a message, “I think my niece has a crush on you.”

I’m flattered to be sure, and I can’t help but feel excited. I mean a beautiful woman likes me? Hell yeah! But she likes the male side of me. She doesn’t know about Stefani, and letting her in feels me with a sense of dread. Letting anyone in again is something I had hoped to avoid.

And to be sure, I know I’m jumping the gun, but it’s something I’m concerned with. I spent years concealing this aspect of myself, denying that Stef even existed. My then wife let me know several times by her snide asides that she valued me less as a man and as a husband just because I told her about this part of me.

I vowed never to let any woman hold me hostage. I won’t hide myself for anyone just because they are insecure with me. I understand that most women want a man to be the man, all talk about equality notwithstanding. We can talk all day about gender roles, but at the end of the day a woman wants her man to be the man, and being a crossdresser, or transgender, makes women look at her s.o. as less than a man.

At least that has been my experience. I’ve heard from some very liberal women that they don’t understand transgender. One who admitted to being a bisexual woman, said it to my face, not knowing that I am transgender myself. Damn, but can I act the man or what?!

So now just the prospect of a innocent crush is enough to give me pause. I’ve heard from many that have found love and understanding from their girlfriends or their spouse, and of them I’m a bit envious. I envy that they have someone to love and someone who understands them. I also envy the courage to open themselves up to that rejection.

Right now, I’m hoping to at least go on a date with this woman. Maybe something will come out of it, but more than likely it won’t. I can’t let fear hold me back in life or in my love life. I won’t know until something happens. Lord, I’m scared!