Little Red Riding Hood

I have spent a week pretty much ignoring myself and just working. I have had no interest in dressing or makeup or nails or any of the other things I normally find myself thinking about – even my interaction with the Tg community sites that I belong to has been reduced to just quick checks every now and then.

Yesterday though was like I had been struck with nervous energy, as soon as I got in my house I changed into some comfy leggings and a jumper and did some basic eye makeup and lipstick and put on my hair. (vanity, vanity, all is vanity)  What I saw when I looked in the mirror was a woman who just looked liked she was relaxing and enjoying her weekend.

That was when I had the thought that perhaps I should. As anyone who has read my posts will know I have been aiming, trying, and failing at going somewhere neutral but safe to go and have a cup of coffee as myself, but what if I did not have to go that far?

Someone had put up photos of a walk she had been on recently in the countryside and with the sun shining I thought a Sunday afternoon walk would be absolutely perfect.

I was still likely to meet people as it is a common enough activity, but for the most part it will be quiet and I can bolt back if it all goes horribly wrong.

So I quickly started plotting and planning. Then put the plan into action before I could talk myself out of it.

I put my hair and my new red coat in a bag, pulled on some baggy man clothes over my female clothes and went out to the car looking for a forestry walk.

About 20-30 minutes away from my house I decided I was at a safe enough distance and pulled over to the side of the road and peeled off the man layers – literally. All the way there every time I passed another car I half grimaced half smiled to hide my lips – just in case it was someone I know! Once my hair was on though I did not need to hide. It was very liberating just being in the car driving and smiling and singing away.

Once I found a spot far enough away to be really unlucky if I met someone I knew I parked up, put on my nice new coat – the one I bought after my last failed attempt had included the excuse that not having a jacket would make me stand out.  I love this coat! – but it is red, bright red, little red riding hood red, and contrasted with the green of the trees it stands out a mile!  But you know I did not care. I desperately wanted to wear my new coat out and so I did. I was out walking an easy casual route for about 30 minutes or so. Half a mile down the track I had a moment of panic as I spotted a pink jacket heading through the trees towards me.

It is funny how quickly the train of thoughts rattled through – quick turn back before she sees you! you will never pass! why did you come out! your voice will give you away! Oh Sod it!  So without missing a step I continued forwards – each of us looking at the path ahead of us until we got to within 5 ft of each other, we made eye contact, we both smiled and I said hello and then like that we were past each other.  I have no clue if I “passed”, or if I gave this walker the fright of her life, but she did not increase her speed and neither did I, later on as I arrived back at my car I caught a glimpse of pink much further up the hill – she was taking this walk much more seriously than I was.

What I did do was relax – I enjoyed my afternoon walk, I took in the view and the smell of all those Christmas trees growing and I marvelled at how completely mundane it all felt. I was simply a woman out on her own for a walk and enjoying some winter sunshine. There was no thrill or excitement of being outside, simply just a lovely moment of peace, and a couple of moments laughing at myself as I tried to take photos using a 3 second timer and a glare that meant I could not see my screen.

On the way home I stopped at one other site of interest, and then hid in my man clothes to go back into the house – I could not help but think that it felt more like I was dressing up to go home than the hour and a half I had been out as Dee.

Literally just as I got in the door the heavens opened and the rain rattled off the windows, my timing had been impeccable.

I know for many this will not sound like a big deal, but for me, going out anywhere however remote as my female self is a very big moment.  It makes the other things I want to do possible, and silences some of those recurring pesky doubts about whether it was just fantasy wish fulfilment.

I was so happy when I got in I painted my nails pink and immediately started sharing my triumph with my online friends.

During my session I was asked, if someone asked me what would I say my gender was – I said my honest answer would be to fudge it depending on who was asking, I cannot claim to be a cis-male anymore – that would be a lie, and I feel like I am heading towards transwoman – but while I can easily write “I am Trans” online it is harder to say out loud to someone else and actually accept emotionally – I have to work out what parts of being a male I enjoyed because for me the last 40 years have not been totally terrible, so I do not want to assume a binary position – If I am not one thing then I must be the other. I will not just jump from one side of the spectrum to the other but tiptoe across until I get to a point that feels like me. I just happen to think that the chances are high that the final destination is firmly in the female and not male camp.

It also came out that the biggest reason I have not done anything or told more people is simply fear of rejection. It may sound trite and some may think that anyone who is a real friends would stand by me, but why should they? They made friends with a man, now I am telling them that the person they became friends with was just an act put on for their benefit.  I like having friends and I like being liked – as the previous sentence shows there is a part of me that feels like I have kept this secret – lied through omission – even though I had no clue it was such a big thing for me for most of my adult life.

I thought I was comfortable with the person I was, the person that everyone knew and liked and being Dee requires me to leave that comfort zone knowing that I will lose people along the way, and I just don’t want to.

Fear is not always something that can just be swallowed down and ignored, sometimes it is a big bad wolf that has to be brought out and examined and then edged past slowly while it growls at you and bares its oh so big teeth!

xx

 

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3 thoughts on “Little Red Riding Hood

  1. “So without missing a step I continued forwards – each of us looking at the path ahead of us until we got to within 5 ft of each other, we made eye contact, we both smiled and I said hello and then like that we were past each other. I have no clue if I “passed”, or if I gave this walker the fright of her life, but she did not increase her speed and neither did I…”

    Another wonderful post, Dee! I can follow you as you move along your thought process. You and I are a lot alike. I had a similar experience last month at my gender health doc appt. Instead of a path in the woods, it was the long hallway to the gender center. I passed several people and the same thoughts came to mind. I reacted the exact same way you did and everything went great. If you continue to do more and more of this it will get easier with each experience…at least that’s what other tell me. So far it does seem to be the case for me.

    Susan R🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I can follow you as you move along your thought process. You and I are a lot alike.” Aww! Thank you for the compliment Susan x I don’t think that I am getting any braver but when others tell me they have similar thoughts and feelings, or took similar steps it definitely helps my inner critic to be silenced. I am very glad it seems to be getting easier for you too!

      Like

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