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.
I'm so with you on the passing as a male thing. Sometimes I find myself going slightly over the top with the ribald bloke act and a little voice inside says "Did you really say that!".ReplyDelete
Your last paragraph is as good a way as stating my personal manifesto as it relates to my wife as I could write myself.
I have a friend who transitioned years ago and few know about it. She lamented about this to me recently because there is someone in her life who really does need to know but she doesn't think he will take it well. My comment to her was that there is probably at least one person in her life and his life who is trans but she and he do not have a clue that this friend is trans. I suggested that if this person ever comes out to either of them, it would be interesting to observe his reaction reaction to the coming out. If it was positive, than she should share her secret. If not, it remains a secret.ReplyDelete
The point is that there really are many of us out there, but we keep our secrets close to the vest that even many wives don't have a clue.
How do we do it? Because we are masters at maintaining the facade. I hate sports, yet I will review the sports pages on Monday mornings so that I am able to fake the macho sports talk with those at work around the board room table. How sick is that? Just one example of how I (someone who actually could stand half a chance at passing if I were to go full time) maintain such a rigid facade that no one - NO ONE - has a clue that I am trans, other than my wife....and she didn't have a clue until I told her.
I have many trans friends, locally, and have actually found this more to be the case with those who are leaning TS than those who are CD. You will often find subtle signs with the CD's. Hairless arms, neatly trimmed eyebrows, clear polish on nails, etc.
@Jenny - I so agree.
Nice manifesto, Halle. I guess I'm in the same boat as long as the missus will have me. Passing as male is not difficult for me, though it does cause me some discomfort. I am acutely aware that I am acting, but it's easier now that Leslie bleeds through.ReplyDelete
Sickens the wife, eh? Mrs. Leslie finally got an eyeful of me when she found my blog. She hasn't made any comments about my look, up or down. I probably don't want to know what she thought!
I can relate Halle although I am one of those who needs to head out the door dress and whether I pass or not is not the issue. The issue is that my psyche demands it and it always has. I promised myself that I would never transition because in the end we are much more than our physical bodies and the dressing is just a way to connect to that part of yourself that needs expressing - I don't know why I need to express "her" but express her I must.ReplyDelete
Be well and be strong..
Joanna, let me first thank you so much for commenting to this post, one I have not revisited in a very long time. What a pleasant surprise to realize these desires I had four years ago to express my true nature as much as possible while presenting as a male have been remarkably successful. I have found a balance that is working for me now.Delete
As you suggest, there is no single formula for self-expression, and isn't that wonderful?!
It seems to me we need to constantly stay aware of opportunities to improve ourselves and how we relate to the world. Being flexible and aware is part of being well and showing our feminine strength.
Thanks again Joanna!