As I began my transition years ago into a full time feminine world, I learned the hard way what I suspected all along. Being a woman would prove to be infinitely more difficult than I thought it would be.
Most certainly in my cross dressing days, I did learn the basics of looking like a woman but as my wife always told me, I really didn’t know anything about being a woman. In fact, one of our fights ended up in her telling me I would make a terrible woman. She later went on to explain to me her statement had nothing to do with how I looked.
What she didn’t take into consideration was all the years I had studied all women so intently. Including the time I worked in a predominately woman dominated business. So all I had to do was to step up my game even farther.
I am fond of pointing out my first major learning experience in my male to female gender transition came as I learned how women communicate between themselves often by using visual cues more than the straight forward ones used by men. I tied my experiences in with a couple I already knew. Women operate on a passive aggressive basis and are more apt to form cliques rather than teams men form.
The more I was able to get out and try to live a feminine life, I found out my wife was right and I changed. To make matters worse, she passed away before she ever had a chance to see my transition.
So, applying the makeup and picking the perfect outfit is gratifying all the way to being fun, it is all still icing on the cake.
Being able to reinvent yourself as your authentic self is so deeply satisfying. Proving once again living the layered life of a woman proves you belong in the sandbox of the high maintenance gender.
My partner Liz and I crossed another milestone recently when she secured a time for her first Covid vaccine. Her date is coming up Monday.
When she completes both of her vaccinations, it means we are a giant step closer to being able to venture out again in the public’s eye. Most importantly to me, I will have the chance to see my daughter and three grandkids again.
Liz and I from Christmas party two years ago. I loved it when her heels made her taller than me!
Also, I will have the opportunity to interact with the public as a transgender woman. Looking ahead, I wonder how many lessons I will have to relearn, if any. Interestingly, Liz has been indicating she wants to “experiment” with my hair and make up, which she has never dome in our past. In her past, she dabbled in being an Avon cosmetic person and I have settled into a real makeup routine which may need some updating. Truthfully, my “routine” has become wearing less and less makeup. I still rely on my nightly skin care routine and exfoliation when I shave to get me by. Of course now makeup is less important when a mask covers a significant part of your face anyhow.
My problem is too that in my quest to be a “natural” woman, I have a tendency to revert back to looking more like my old male self. Even though a feminized version due to the hormone replacement therapy I have been on.
As always I have set my expectations too high as far when we can begin to rejoin society again.
I am sure I will experience no major lifestyle changes. I just want to return to somewhat the same existence I enjoyed before. You notice I wrote “somewhat.”
Bambi Lake, a songwriter, performer, Tenderloin fixture, and former member of the legendary Cockettes — the gender-bending performance troupe that grew out of the queer spaces in the Haight of the late 1960s and deeply influenced modern San Francisco drag — has died after a brief battle with cancer. She was 70