As I haven’t found a new area to move to yet for my job I am still stuck mixing my presentation up. Looking masc at home and in my local small village/town and to anyone connected with people that could try to cause me issues, and then femme when out of the area and with my friends and family.
As I was able to get some unexpected holiday time, having the kids for the second half of the summer holidays has worked out well, we intended to go camping for a while, and then continue on to spend some time at my mum’s.
From the moment I was safe enough to do so, I have been presenting as myself. I am sure that my sisters are finding it a little uncomfortable still, I don’t know if they are hoping that this is a phase, or if they expect me to alert them as to how I’ll be dressed when I turn up. I know that me having to split my presentation means that sometimes I am “he” and sometimes I am “she” in public, but overall I am moving to “she” full time, and rarely turn up anywhere as him if I don’t have to. I frequently tell my son I am Dee all the time, regardless of whether or not I happen to have my hair on!
It was an interesting experience, arriving, pitching our tent and living on site as Dee, but the night turned so cold it was down to 3.C that when it got to 4:45am with the sun rising and none of us was asleep, a family vote to pack up and head to grannies was unanimous, the week was fantastic from then on.
We stopped off at a new Tim Horton’s for breakfast (the franchise is only just starting to get a grip over here!) then arrived at my mums and settled in. We did a day loch swimming, a day at the beach, and a day out to Edinburgh as well as just pottering around the local area. Again we met one of my sisters for coffee and this was the first time they had met me as Dee. They seemed a little quiet but tried to assure me later that they were tired after work and had forgotten that there was a chance that they wouldn’t see their brother.. I apologised for not thinking to give advance notice, something I had remembered to do to for my other 3 sisters.
I lived as myself the whole time, 6 whole days without a single person using my male name, and only a little accidental misgendering from my mum. I switched between being a blonde and having my pink wavy hair. Every single day I had at least one person compliment me on my hair, and I had so many conversations without stressing about how I sounded or how I was coming across. Even in the busy Edinburgh streets, or sharing lifts in the shopping centres, I never once felt out of place, or worried about anyone looking at me funny or whispering about me. I had a couple come up and ask for directions to the train station, and felt quite at home the whole time. My youngest is currently using a gender neutral name, and while afab is trying to dress and present more masc. The highlight of his trip was the 2 times he was blatantly and loudly gendered as a boy by some total strangers.
I was never worried for myself or my family, and was quite at home, even though we were out for whole days, and as someone who likes to trawl through the charity shops, it was great to see two shops next to each other that had rainbows in the windows and small signs stating, “trans people are welcome here”. I had a flustered moment of flattered panic as the shop assistant complimented and joked with me and talked about her own red hair. It is so good to just feel normal.
The worst moments were at the loch and the beach, where I had taken a swim cap to wear, but still had that moment where I had to take my hair off and put my cap on. I felt extremely self conscious, and while some people must have seen me, once my cap was on I was happy walking in and out of the water in my costume. Getting dressed under my towel is still just as awkward, though I was wearing skirts, which helped, however I did start to wonder what it is about bras that makes them stick so tightly if you are not bone dry! I had taken the back fastening ones, and I normally fasten them on back to front and then twist them round to put the straps on and make sure everything is where it should be, but after swimming just getting it on was a victory in itself lol.
Now I am home I am back to hiding who I am and feeling pretty low about it. I will get a few more times this year to be out and about as myself but it’s going to be a while yet before I can relax like that again. I loved my time away and I cannot wait until every day is a Dee day!