Over the years here in Cyrsti’s Condo I have been amazed how many of the like minded transgender women I have encountered followed the same transition path as I did. Then again, I have ran into many trans women with totally different paths.
I have written a number of times how I used athletics to cover up the fact I really preferred being a girl. For example, being a football player kept the bullies away. Enough said. Perhaps what I haven’t written so much about was my military service. Unlike so many others, I didn’t voluntarily join the Army to make me a man, I was drafted during the Vietnam War. Guess what, my time served still didn’t help me to stay in my male closet. It only helped to reinforce what I already knew, I had a woman lurking to experience the world. In fact, the military provided me the opportunity to come out of my closet to three close friends for the first time in my life. When I told them I was a transvestite.
Now we can fast forward through all the years of Halloween parties being the only opportunity to leave the closet and experience the world as my girl self.
In the 1980’s was the first time I could be aggressive and force my gender closet open and sample the world as a woman. As with any other tremendously difficult endeavor, my path had it’s ups and downs. I was frustrated when I felt I was taking one step forward then two steps back. For example, when I felt I looked the feminine part, I would do something such as twist my ankle in heels.
Finally I decided I needed a plan for my path. Instead of meandering without a plan, I decided to begin a process which would lead to a transition…or not. Here is what worked for me. Plus, I need to point out, it was a different time to attempt to come out of the closet, so stick with me.
What I did was try my hand at so called “easy” places to pass in. I went to bookstores and shopped at women’s clothing stores where all which really counted to the sales clerks was the color of my money. Emboldened by my success, then I expanded my trips to stopping and eating lunch. I still remember two of my favorite outfits. The first was a pastel green “business style” suit which I pared with pastel green hose and heels. The second was a black dressy jump suit with black pumps. Both outfits were worn with my long straight blond wig I loved so much. The end result was I blended well in the upscale malls I chose to go to.
Even with all the so called success I was experiencing, there were downfalls also. Most came when I tried to do too much and ended up looking like a drag queen. I can’t tell you how many times I went home in tears. One day I even learned my lesson from one young girl I estimated to be four or five in a women’s clothing store. As I turned the corner through another rack of clothes, we startled each other and she shouted to her Mom “Look at the big woman!” I quickly thought at least she saw me as a woman. But there was more. The girl went on to say “A big mean woman.” Lesson learned. Wipe that male scowl off my face.
I tried also to challenge myself to accomplish different goals as I experimented surviving in a feminine world.
It turned out my path would take several different branches before I arrived where I am today. Living full time as a transgender world with a successful relationship and an accepting daughter. More on it later.