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emancipation

Maybe some of you were like I was; afraid to be myself for fear of perturbing someone else with my identity. “They won’t accept me, so I might as well shield them from it” was my battle cry.

My entire childhood and adolescence was about trying to sneak moments in where I could enjoy being feminine and then paying the price later with the guilt and shame that followed; the little voice that told me I had just broken the rules yet again.

This cycle is often pervasive and hard to break and many of us have had to go to psychological treatment to repair the damage. I was fortunate in that the initial 6 months of gender therapy I received at the hospital in my early 40's plus writing this blog helped me to become free and yet there are still remnants left over from a life lived feeling that one is a social pariah. The older one is, the more difficult lifting that veil becomes.

Yesterday I walked into a local mall to have my coffee. It is a place where many people know me and that feeling of freedom was particularly strong. I no longer think in terms of passing but am simply enjoying being who I am without apprehension or the slightest doubt which pays off in great dividends. The greatest of which are peace of mind and spirit.

People see and treat me like a woman and I know this because I have seen the progression over the years. I have lived the role of that person who looks down at the ground or anywhere besides other people’s faces. This might not be something a cis-person understands but for many of us it is nothing short of radical because it amounts to an emancipation from an education that taught us we were rejects.

This freedom is the biggest gift you can give to yourself because, Lord knows, the most important person you have to tend to is yourself. How else can you look after others without that.

Next week I will be 56 years old and I don't think I have ever felt more like myself.

Image result for woman walking in heels

Comments

  1. Happy (nearly) 56th birthday, Joanna!

    I was 56 eleven years ago, and it was eleven years ago this month when I first presented my feminine self to the public. I finally made up my mind to attend a monthly meeting of a local transgender (mostly cross dresser) social group. The meeting was held in the basement of a small neighborhood church, and, due to the lack of convenient parking, I had to park three blocks away. It was an unusually warm early October evening, and the sun had not yet set. Families were out on their front lawns, enjoying the weather and getting their gardens ready for the impending Fall and Winter.

    I parked the car and then took a some time to check my makeup and hair in the mirror. I looked as good as I thought I could, anyway, so I took a few deep breaths and got out of the car. I kept my head down for the first block, and I didn't hear any laughter or chiding. I first looked up only upon reaching the first intersection, and I kept my head up to cross the street and half-way down the next block. By the time I had reached the next street, though, I heard a man's voice exclaiming what a beautiful day it was. I wasn't sure he was talking to me, but my mother taught me to be polite, so I looked over to acknowledge him. I mustered up a smile and an uh-huh, and just kept walking. I remember the feeling I had after I realized I was still smiling and with my head held high the rest of the way to the church. This was the most affirming event of my night, even after considering the warm welcome I received at the meeting. It was as if all of my hiding in fear was wiped out in a mere few minutes.

    I have walked many sidewalks since and, although not all have been without a few cracks and pot holes, I have managed to keep my head up and have gained more confidence with each step. I don't need to muster up a smile anymore, because it is as natural as the woman I feel myself to be. I don't have to resort to a simple uh-huh, either, as every day is truly a beautiful day, and I don't mind declaring that to anyone!

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    Replies
    1. It's been a long road for both of us Connie and I am so happy that you are now able to walk it with confidence and a smile on your face

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    2. You have an eleven year head start over me. Enjoy those extra years!

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