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time invested

15 minutes.

That is the length of time it takes me to be ready to step out the door presenting as Joanna. After years of regular practice I have it down to an art form and I am like a well-oiled machine.

I don’t overdo the make-up and the clothing tends to lean towards the pragmatic but also stylish as it aligns with the requirements of each season. In that sense I have done away with items that don’t fit my body or might call attention to some feature that I don’t want to advertise.

Because I am tall I will sometimes catch women who pass me glance down at my feet; their expression very transparently giving away their thought process: “she must be getting help from the shoes”

What used to be daunting is now amusing and I enjoy my feminine expression more than I ever have before because it comes from a place of being truly comfortable in my own skin and forsaking the worry of how I am being perceived. As a result I pass specifically because I never worry about passing which might sound counterintuitive until one finally comprehends this universal truth: How can you convince someone else of your identity when you don’t believe it yourself?

It turns out that those 15 minutes of preparation open a door to time well-spent because I am investing in my mental health and feeding my soul; something which I would repeatedly deny myself over many years for months at a time.

This has saved my happiness which is something a person who isn't transgender wouldn't understand but which we who are most certainly do.


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Misinterpreted religion is a big culprit in all this. These negative images of yourself came from reinforcement of stereotypes by ignorant people interpreting what is right and moral by their own barometer. You simply ingested the message and bought it as the gospel truth. Self confidence and critical thinking is the way out of your dilemma. It can…