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!