For my first post I’ll share a story with you. It was in the very early stages in my transition right when I was first starting to realize who I truly was. That was when I had first started seeking counseling to help with my transition process. At this point I had not done much in the ways of presenting myself as feminine.
There were a few times I had my nails painted but beyond that was about it. Granted this was before I had discovered who I was. Anyway so I was in counseling and they suggested taking small steps to ease in to the process of transitioning.
I had bought a couple of feminine outfits prior to starting counseling however I had not yet worn them at all even privately. Step one, try on one of the outfits while alone and just see how it feels. Simple enough right? So I try on one of my outfits, a big difference in attire than what I had worn my whole life up to this point.
My usual outfit was jeans and a t-shirt. I was not very picky. This outfit was a pink tank top and some pink booty shorts. Yes you read that right, pink booty shorts. So anyway I put on the outfit in the privacy of my home. I immediately felt self-conscious and a bit out-of-place. Despite that I stuck it out and felt it out a bit more that night.
Before I knew it I was going about my usual activities in the clothing and had almost forgotten I was wearing them. Keep in mind I hadn’t even worn a tank top itself before this point. The dog I was watching for the night needed to be let out so I got her leash and headed outside so she could go potty. I lived next door to my landlord at this time.
I was still wearing the outfit as I headed outside with the dog. My landlord happened to be sitting on her porch when I got out there. I was beyond nervous at this point. She had known me as my legal name up to that point and had not seen me in clothing like this ever so I was freaking out inside.
The dog finished her business and I headed inside. No words were spoken between us and I just kind of awkwardly looked at her as I walking the dog. I get back inside and breathe a sigh of relief. At this point most people would have probably taken off the clothes and changed into something else.
I, however simply went back to my game and kept the clothes on the entire evening. Eventually I went to sleep still in the clothes. When I awoke I realized I woke up late. If I didn’t leave soon I was going to be late for work. I hurried to ready myself but it was debatable if I had time to change or not.
I ended up saying f it, and headed to work like that. Luckily I did not have a uniform I was required to wear. When I headed outside, my landlord and all of her room mates were outside on the porch. They were all pretty shocked to see how I was dressed. I simply said I am Brenda now and I am going to work like this.
I rode off on my bicycle after a brief conversation with everyone. I also wore the purse I bought as well. I felt ready to tackle the world. I had a full beard still as well so most people would probably have thought “what on earth is this guy wearing?”. It took maybe five minutes until I rode past someone who had such an opinion.
I didn’t have time for a conversation so when they gestured me over to them and said very bluntly “Bro what the fuck are you wearing?” ” You are a dude.” I simply responded with ” I am a woman, I am transgender, deal with it.”. After that exchange I turned around and rode off to work without so much as a glance back at them.
That was such an empowering moment for me. Since the time I had first discovered my true self a few weeks prior I had dreamed about standing up for myself like that and put on the spot, I did exactly that. I stopped by the store everyday before work and had managed to save enough time to be able to stop by quickly.
After I got to the store and locked up my bike I walked in and said hello to the staff. One staff member commented on me showing my legs, I got a real kick out of that. I purchased a Gatorade and was on my way to work once again. You might be wondering why I purchased a Gatorade before work.
I did this daily prior to arriving at work because I worked outside in the Florida heat and needed to stay hydrated. Don’t worry I always packed plenty of water before leaving the house as well. I got to work and since I had previously told my manager I would soon be dressing more feminine around work she was aware and very okay with it which was such a relief.
I worked in a not so friendly neighborhood. There was literally drug transactions happening right outside the store I worked for. I worked for a phone store. I held the sign for them to help advertise their store. It wasn’t glamorous but it paid the bills. After setting my stuff down in the back, putting sunscreen on and making sure I had everything else I needed to get started I clocked in grabbed my sign and headed to the corner where I did my job.
You can only imagine the wave of emotions surging through me at this point. Fear, paranoia, excitement, sadness, anger, pretty much every single emotion you can think of. I felt beyond overwhelmed. It was like leaving the safety of the cage that divers use when swimming with the sharks.
As I stood there getting my music set up and rehydrating I was panicking a little inside. I was thinking about every possible outcome from doing this. There were so many thoughts running through my head. I was thinking of all the horrid things people might say or do to me. I was going through all my actions prior to that moment.
If my thoughts were projected like a slide show there would have been no cohesion or logic or really any order at all to them whatsoever. I have anxiety which definitely did not help in that moment one bit. There I was at work in a bad neighborhood completely vulnerable to everyone and everything and after a couple of hours that finally sunk in.
Let’s just say I did have a panic attack that day, not a bad one by any means but it was enough to where I had to re-center myself and come back down to earth. Throughout that day which seemed to drag on forever several people commented on my attire. Most of it positive believe it or not.
I was pleasantly surprised at my positive reception. There were of course a few not so nice comments thrown in but the ratio was nowhere near my expectations. As overwhelming as that day was it was also a very empowering and crucial day on the path in my transition.
On that day I wore feminine clothes in public for the first time and finally felt free. I took in all the criticism and put out positive vibes for any incoming hate and relished in all the surprising positivism. I made a huge leap toward my goal of transitioning. I tackled life head on without a care and walked away no worse for the wear.
Since that day I rarely wear masculine or even gender neutral clothing. I feel way more comfortable in feminine attire now more than any other clothing type. After that day I felt more confident in myself. I still have a long way to go, but that is only motivation to keep pushing forward. I may have taken a big step that day but the whole journey does not happen in a day.
If you decide to undergo this journey remember that everyone’s journey is different. I may have taken a big step early but that just happened to be how it worked out for me. An important thing to remember in this is to not have unrealistic expectations. Enjoy your transition as much as you can. In the end life is about the ride right?