It’s been over a month since coming out as being transgendered.
…Things have moved fast since then.
Imagine being given a shopping spree in a store where all your deepest wants needs could suddenly be fulfilled. …It’s quite overwhelming! I have been granted the chance to live out the rest of my life as myself.
The changes can be most easily broken down into two categories: Changes to how I think and feel; and changes to how I live my life.
The differences to how I think and feel are profound. I have been feebly attempting to explain what being transgendered feels like. There is the old standby “Being trapped in the wrong body” and that fits, but there’s a lot that comes with that. A person has to pretend to be the gender that they have been assigned. I feel as though, for my whole life, I have been attempting to pass as a man. I feel like an impostor. I had a well-studied, well-developed character that I spent 30 years crafting. When all was said and done, however…It was all an act. It was positively exhausting!
I have always kept close female friends, and in their company, I have tried to show an understanding of the female condition, without giving myself away…. I wanted to know a lot, but not too much. I was constantly using modifying statements like “But, what do I know?” to reflect a certain distance from personal knowledge. Around men, I would puff myself up and try to fit the part. The playground taught me that being a girl in a boy’s body meant I would be harmed. I certainly was not ready to be found out.
…But I am ready now! …and, that leads me to what I am changing about the way I live my life.
I have decided to un-trap myself. I don’t have to pretend to be a man any more. I am transitioning to life as a woman. It’s a lot of work, but it’s far less than the everyday struggle of incongruity with myself. I have chosen the name Lauren, as it is a close fit to my old name, which I have really been honored to be called by up to this point. Olivia, my new middle name, was DW’s suggestion. I like the flow of the name, and I like that it sounds classy and sophisticated.
There are, of course, changes to appearance as well. The most recent picture I have posted [on Facebook] was taken the first week in December. At that point, I had just begun to wear makeup, and pluck my eyebrows. I was attempting to just look like a ‘prettier’ man. Most of this was simply in order to satisfy my long want to get to do the sorts of things I had been denying myself for fear that others would think it odd.
I am no longer trying to look like a prettier man. I am allowing myself to look like the woman I am.
There is huge work in this transition. There is a lot of hair to remove. For my face especially, this means passing each square inch over and over in every conceivable direction, because makeup has a way of really pointing out stubble. My skin is sometimes quite irritated by this. I am also using chemical hair removers and will likely begin the arduous task of electrolysis soon. (We recently got a home kit for doing this.) So, that’s hair..and there’s the makeup, the brows, the acrylics, the toenail polish, the switched-out wedding ring, the earrings, the wardrobe, the shoes, the prosthetics…yes, those prosthetics, the shapewear, the purse, and the wig. At this point… it takes me up to two hours to get ready to go out. My hope is that this can be streamlined down to about half of that, but still, it’s a considerable effort.
As I write this, I have not yet gone out presenting myself as a woman. I have a wig from a costume shop that isn’t all that good. I was proud of the work I did cutting and styling it, though…it started out as utter garbage. The wig I have been waiting patiently for is to arrive this week. (Perhaps as soon as tomorrow) It is a much higher quality wig. I am also waiting on a proper pair of prosthetics. Right now I am just stuffing with upholstery foam. I have seen the beginnings of what I will look like, and it makes me very happy.
I have an incredible, supportive wife who, though struggling with implications to our lives, has affirmed her continuing want to be in my life. And, I have fantastic friends whose reactions range from completely unphased to full-blown cheerleader.
I love my life
I love the people in it
…and, perhaps for the first time… I REALLY love me