Another ephemeral and non-tangible boundary crossed and another vantage whose perspective is now more clear obtained. Last Thursday marked a significant although, at the time, seemingly innocuous change. Yet, what I have found, in time and time again, is that these seemingly minor changes are having incrementally profound impacts in my perception and in my realizations of what is coming to be. It was a minor procedure, a facial peel designed to target hyper-pigmentation. Over the course of an hour, it would take me another step into that realm of the feminine which I could not imagine, at the time, that it would.
I began to realize the reality of the changes a few days later, on Saturday, as I prepared to get ready to go out. No longer was I finding the need to apply the camouflage of concealers needed prior to cover what appeared to be a mustache but which was only discoloration that appeared as such. My skin and pores were finer now and more porcelain. But the day was just beginning and the events which would unfold, although minor, would bring me to another plateau in this journey of a lifetime.
It was that evening that we met with a good friend for dinner out at a local restaurant. Upon alighting from the car, we met in the parking lot and proceeded in to the restaurant. It was at the doors that I had the first of encounters that would be yielded to me in the evening ahead. A gentleman with his wife held the door open for her but, upon seeing my spouse and myself, motioned visually and verbally that we ladies should proceed as well. It was nothing unusual, as this had happened in the past, but, there were differences. They were differences in the way in which he eyed us and especially me, in ways which I had not seen prior. It happened again and again that evening. I would get up and stroll past tables to the ladies room or to procure cheese and crackers at the common table set up in the entryway. Waiting in line for my turn at the cheese and crackers table, I watched as others would glance my way and continue their business. A gentleman offered me to step in line ahead of him with a smile. It was all very fluid. Everything that evening was natural and fluid.
Things were different somehow and I knew what it was now. I was blending in. I was not being noticed except by those that were interested. It was an eerily calmness that settled across me and my confidence became quietly more relaxed in knowing cathis. No one knew and no one suspected any variance in any way about my persona. I was who I felt inside and I was being affirmed that in the passive absenteeism of doubt and quizzical looks by others.
Upon returning to the table, my spouse, Joanne, did make it known to me that I was the object of visual attention by a number of males at the bar. She was observant enough to the point that she noted what aspects they were surmising of my physical being as I passed by their perches at the tables and the bar. My dress was casual, with a flowery, faux-layered top in purples paired with a pair of black jeans and low, peep-toe heels. None of the women paid me any mind or attention as I had noted more-so in the past. It was their scrutinizing looks I might receive on occasion that were absent. It was their looks toward me as they perhaps realized something of in congruency in my femininity that set their radar into motion. It was the look of something not adding up but of not being sure either.
Those looks from the women were gone and I was invisible now to them. In that place, now arising, were looks from the men. They were studying me in a way that men do of natal women. It was not something I was looking for now something I even care to want. There was no interest in them by me for I am only interested in my spouse. But what I did find interesting was that I was fluid now in the realm of the feminine and that I was coming closer and perhaps had just crossed that elusive boundary.
I've been vacillating back and forth along that gender boundary for some time... and continue to do so today. But... it is of notable interest that as I move along this continuum towards the feminine, that the pendulum does not swing as far back into that male realm as it had. This is becoming the thing which is prompting more looks of late as well. Simply stated, it appears that I am being scrutinized more in my male persona now and that this scrutiny is becoming all but absent in my female one. Without being on hormones and without the benefits of surgeries, facially or otherwise, that I am crossing a very important boundary in my life. It is the boundary which is the summation of all the little changes I have been and continue to make in my life.
What I had hoped for in my life, was that I was just a guy who liked to wear women's clothes on occasion. Life would have been so much simpler if it was that way. I would dress occasionally, enjoy the feel and texture of the clothes I wore, snap some pictures and then regain my male persona. I would have my fill and be done with the girl inside, putting her away for another day. But what I have found as I continue this journey, is that this is not me. There is no excitement and spark in putting on makeup and primping my hair. There is no tactile pleasures in the feel of nylons or a slinky dress. What there is, is a sense of calmness and of centered being in who I am when I do. I cannot describe it in any other way but when I am able to present as the woman I see within, that I am whole, I am transparent as a woman to the world, and I am at peace. I am not cognizant when I am out, of those clothes I am wearing, nor do I feel I am hiding as a male behind a constructed facade of makeup and clothing. I am simply finding that I am just me. I am interacting with the world in a place that I feel as who I am inside and the world relates back to me in a way that feels comfortable. It feels, as there is no other way that I can put this, as a woman, that I am home.
In closing, I will say that I have the most wonderful of spouses to thank for helping me to find myself and to manifest and realize the woman within. She has been the inspiration and the means by which I have made it to this point in my life. It is not easy for her, to watch the physical presence of her husband slowly disappear, only to be replaced by a woman which has lived inside for so long. Yet, she wishes for us both to be happy and for me to find some freedom from the dark place I have lived in for so many years of my life. She has seen the tears in my eyes and has wiped them away with her love for me and with her compassion. This is truly a very special journey for us both.