Since being transgender seems to me, at least, mainly to be an issue of self-image, we are really not much different than cisgender people who have issues of their own self image, like women with too much hair where it shouldn’t be or men with “manboobs”, yet I see cisgender people perfectly happy with themselves despite these imperfections.
Sure, we are a miniscule segment of the population and we have special considerations and often face real dangers that cisgender people could never imagine, yet, if you take away all the things that we think identify who we think we are, we all put our skivvies on one leg at a time, unless of course, we lie on a bed or floor and thrust both legs into the air where it could be possible to put them on with both legs at once.
When I first began my transition, knowing that my eventual needed surgery to fix what most will never see but me would be more than a year away, if then, I felt anxious about passing in the meantime. Today, just over six months later, I sat in the waiting room of my foot doctor’s group practice which was almost totally female and one woman came in who recognized me from my dance space, where I first came out and, at first, I didn’t know if she was waving at me or not because I didn’t recognize her out of context until she whispered loudly where she knows me.
Then, I was talking to my neighbor with our faces not more than 18 inches apart and we chatted about what we had done to our feet and when I told her that I was 63 she told me that I didn’t look a day over 50 and I still see the man in my face every morning when I look in the mirror before I put on my makeup. I haven’t even had voice lessons and now even my voice works.
Curiously enough, instead of wearing a skirt or now even a dress, as I often do when I go out, even just to the grocery store, I wore a blouse which gathers under my B-cup bust line, hides my weak middle abs and gives me a waist narrower than my hips, along with a pair of capris for the very first time so that one of the doctors assistants who called me in mentioned that I still had a sticker stuck on the back of one leg which she helped remove for me. I did not feel at all embarrassed by my little wardrobe malfunction as we both giggled about it.
I later stopped by a few restaurants with bars to submit my resume and fill out some job applications and in one restaurant a male server not only offered to get me a coke or water for free, when I finished my application I thanked him for the drink as I introduced myself and said that I hoped we might be working together. He told me that he had to check back about four times before he was finally hired and I felt like that would not have happened at all if I had presented myself like the man I used to be.
I mean, how cool was that? Still, days like today have become the norm instead of the exception and I believe that it is because I don’t have to try as hard to just be myself.