When I realized that accepting my feminine side was the only way to heal the rift in my psyche, it was a huge step. I felt as though an internal truce had been declared. Old destructive habits relaxed and I felt well. Acceptance began a new process; my need to understand how to help myself be the best person possible, without really worrying about why I was born male, not female as every inclination I have tells me I should be.
I will freely admit wishing I could be one of those who can glam up and head out to be themselves for a few hours, or even a weekend. I can also read between the lines in the stories of those I envy, and it isn’t all fun and games when you take the risk of emulating those you admire. No six year old girl playing dress up would ever be mistaken for her mother at the mall, even if she was five foot-two. There is a steep learning curve to womanhood and I will need a lot of mentoring to be able to avoid embarrassing myself and those around me. My wife would be a perfect mentor, but sadly, she has said that the very idea of her man dressing as a woman is not only embarrassing, but ‘sickening’. Having a lot of strong feelings of my own, I won’t argue with how she feels, but wish to find a way to help her learn that I am worth staying with and continuing to love, no matter what outward appearance I have.
I don’t confuse the façade with being the way I was before. Passing as a male (ironic, hmm?) has meant carefully observing how males around me dealt with situations; their body language, posture, vocal inflections, etc. I spent my life doing this subconsciously. I now catch myself using their macho stuff when situations trigger them, and these days I head these phantom men off before they take me over.
Until I come up with a better plan, my goal is to be as true as possible to my feminine nature, while presenting as a male. This means getting rid of those macho reactions to situations that I have gathered over the years, replacing them with a spontaneous 'Halle reaction'. I am listening more, responding with enthusiasm more and trying to smile a lot more to encourage others. If I had been a woman, you can bet she would have been a strong, assertive person that others would trust. Losing Mrs. H’s trust by having to admit deception hurt a lot. I am searching for an authentic person who can be ‘all he/she can be’. That is what I mean by being true to myself.
So, why the façade? Unless it becomes obvious that I cannot be the best person I know how to be while staying in the body I came with, I am not going to risk losing the people who I love. It is that simple, and that complicated too.