Yesterday as the Cincinnati Bengals won their game and will head next to the Super Bowl, I will admit I did shed a tear or two of joy. Of course I was overjoyed at the hard fought win but even more I was overcome at the memories of the thirty three years which have gone by since the last trip to a Super Bowl by a Bengals team As you can imagine, I have suffered more than my share of heartbreak when the Bengals found ways to lose I couldn’t even think of and were even referred to as the “Bungles.”
Being as perceptive as she is, my partner Liz asked me if my tears were because of the memories I had watching all the games I did as a guy. It was at that point I started to connect the dots and told her yes.
In many ways, looking back at all the years of hiding my transgender feminine being from the world, I wonder how I made it. All those years of going to The Ohio State University football games, drinking enormous amounts of beer while I tried to out macho the other guy by smoking big cigars. One example comes to mind when I had to relieve myself of a large amount of the beer I had just drank by going to what can only be called as a high tech men only portable toilet. The unit only had a trough like device for about five guys to go at once. Or as many as could squeeze in.
My dilemma quickly became my lack of enough hands. I had a plastic beer cup, a lit cigar and no hands to unzip and go. To solve the problem I pushed my way in holding my beer in my teeth along with my cigar and went ahead and peed. Either that moment was the most macho thing I did or at the least was the most imaginative thing I ever came up with. By now my mind was racing and I returned to the present.
As I cried though, all I could think of were all the wasted years I had doing my best to live a gender lie. How much worse could everything been if I had just followed my instincts and set out to live as my feminine natural self.
On the other hand, if you believe in the cup being half empty or full, I was able to live a remarkable life as a guy. and have such wonderful things as my beloved daughter to show for it. Even my time in the military proved to be beneficial as I was able to see and live on three continents in three years followed up by living in several diverse areas of this country when I was honorably discharged. The cup was half empty when I chased after myself but full when I was able to add all the experiences I did.
When you are able to live as long as I have, you begin to realize connecting the dots only proves life is but a circle. Learning from the circle has been the difficult lesson for me.