I have been out pretty much every day the last few weeks and so dressing has not even been on my radar, yet at the same time my nails are finally at a length that I am fairly happy with and no one seems to have noticed the clear varnish or deodorant and so I can in some small way express myself.
I finally managed to meet up with my younger sisters and tell them that I am exploring being transgender – the twins were an unknown to me because although we are a pretty close family I am not as close to them and do not get to see them as often as my other sisters. If I am honest I was more worried about being disowned by their partners or not being allowed near the house. All of my fears turned out to be unfounded – I still do not know how their partners will take the news but I know that I have my sisters love and support and for me that means the world.
Both were surprised but after all of the build up in my head and fears it turned out to be a total non event. The youngest said that as far as she was concerned she wants me to know that she loves me and always will and that she is always available if I need her.
She said that in her opinion we only have one life to live and if being female makes me happy then go for it.
The other sister said that she couldn’t even begin to understand going through that kind of crisis of identity, but she gave me a big hug and told me that she loves me even if we are crap at keeping in touch and that I am not alone, I can always phone her or drop by and not to worry about being Dee or male me.
Later once the kids had gone to bed my sisters cracked open a bottle of wine and the youngest (there is only 10 minutes between them but she will always be the youngest to us lol) she had a bit more time to start processing and so she asked me a few more questions – she is straight to the point and very intelligent, so she asked me when this all started and while it is still difficult for me to express myself properly I answered her when she pointed out that my marriage ending was very close to the fancy dress party, so having a crisis of identity would not be unusual during that kind of stress.
I brought up the other things like borrowing their clothes to dress up in when we were younger, playing with their friends and being more comfortable in women’s company than men’s and she pointed out that I grew up with sisters, of course I am comfortable in female company.
I agreed – a lot of what other people use as atypical activity to point to being trans was for me just normal growing up – playing with dolls, dressing up and playing imaginary games, choreographing dance routines, playing cartwheels and handstands, jumping rope, hop scotch & braiding hair were all just normal for me growing up even though I totally accepted I was a boy. It was and still is quite confusing because I never wished to be a woman growing up, I accepted who I was, but it was really when my dad died that I started trying to live up to who he was in my head, and I have felt lacking in just about every area ever since.
I pointed out though that other men are brought up in all female households and do not question their gender – that as far answering “how do you know if you are transgender?” seems to go online if you seriously spend time researching and questioning it then you probably are transgender because “normal” people (this is not meant to offend) just don’t question the gender they are assigned at birth because they are totally comfortable in their skin.
I have felt emotionally and socially inadequate and not quite right for my entire adult life, my marriage was not perfect and I have walked away (technically I’ve been walked away from) feeling inadequate as a parent and as a man. I am or have been depressed on and off for years without ever seeking help for it and some days especially throughput the Christmas period I struggle to get up and out of bed, but do so because I could not afford to take any time off my work, and if I did stop I worry that I would not want to go back. I need to have a reason to leave the house.
One of the big things about researching being transgender has been finding out the statistics of those who ended up taking their own lives rather than admit it to themselves, due to my family history I do not want to add to those statistics – I have never felt suicidal but I have wondered about disappearing. So I need to take this seriously and explore it so I do not turn into our mum who refuses any help offered or try to commit suicide because I refuse to accept a part of me that I just did not pay attention to for most of my life. The statistics are genuinely terrifying.
I showed my sisters my fave picture of me as Dee in my blond wig and then the youngest who has a strong family resemblance to me and is blond took a selfie and compared – we really do look alike. I do not know how it impacts her self confidence but it gave me hope that with a wig I will be passable. Though I am still in two minds about wigs in the long term.
She told me that I had better go to her for fashion advice and not start dressing like a tart, or going out anywhere where I might get beaten up. I laughed and reassured them I would, the twins are gorgeous and very fashionable so I know that now I have access to the genuine opinion of all 4 sisters moving forwards. Yay! I also have every intention of staying safe while I explore being Dee if I can.
At some point this year I will have to tell my mum and everyone knows that I am not looking forward to that – but with all my sisters supporting me this is nowhere near as scary as it has been.
I think that finally being okay with the idea that I need to fully explore being transgender has made a big difference, and that accepting this as well as finally being able to stop keeping a secret from my sisters is why I feel so calm at the moment.
Given how crazy my emotions have been over the last 7 months or so I am going to make the most of this eerie emotional silence before the next storm of panic and fear hits.