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from humble but turbulent beginnings.....

I remember distinctly trying to avoid locking eyes with anyone while I was out dressed as a woman. If it happened I would invariably tip my hand by returning their questioning stare with a look that said "man in a dress". I would look elsewhere and my obvious avoidance, would tip my hand even more.

I've learnt a lot since then.

It's not really about passing although if you do its a bonus. It's about having the right to be there go about your own business. Unfortunately I am not sure this can be taught because as far back as my early internet exploring, I understood the words I was reading but I could not put them into practice. Perhaps it's something one needs to learn the hard way so that it sinks into our minds like a branding iron.

It's helped make me happier and put away all thoughts of transition. I think its because this confidence allows me to draw positive energy from something I used to see as hopelessly negative. No wonder I was trying to rid myself of this problem.

I recall with great clarity my first tentative steps out the door. At seventeen I mustered the courage to walk around the block in my mother's clothes and heels. It was exhilarating and scary at the same time but the peace and joy to be had was blocked by guilt and shame.

My first car brought me freedom to dress because doing so at home was close to impossible and there had been too many close calls over the years. I had become a master at hiding and camouflaging and when I failed people saw what they wanted to see; any plausible explanation other than their son or brother was dressing up as a woman.

It pains me to think of the numerous items of clothing, wigs and shoes that found their way into dumpsters but such was my denial that I could defeat my dysphoria by ignoring it. But some lessons need to be learnt the hard way and what I felt was my biggest foe would not be permitted to win.

I almost can't relate to the person I was now; so much has transpired since then. If anything I've learnt that the hardest shell can be broken with enough effort. It just takes willingness to ask yourself the tough questions and be ready to dispell notions that you thought were sacrosanct.

It turns out that aside from death and taxes, few things in this life are set in stone and they are simply begging for you to examine them more closely.

N and I were discussing this topic last night and I know it's not easy for her for me to be like this. I have reached a point in my life, however, when I can no longer suppress this important part of myself. All I can do is fit Joanna as judiciously as possible into my life without hurting others.



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