As I continue along in this journey and experience some limited time in the world en femme, I look ahead to what life may be like if I choose to continue and go full-time. The idea of “passing” is a frequent topic off discussion in the transgender community, and on an individual one, it truly hits home.
When I first starting seeing my therapist, I told her that I wanted to “be beautiful, inside and out.” What I meant by this was that I if I transition, I want to be seen and treated as a woman, who is at least moderately attractive to the outside world—to pass without having to worry whether or not I’m actually passing. Further, I want to feel beautiful to myself; that is, I want to be happy. Ideally, that is the goal: to be happy with who and what I am. Right now, feeling womanly is making me happy (even to the detriment to my family).
I’m working on the internal happiness. Much of that will depend on what happens with my family situation and what final decision I make about going full-time. That’s all on hold while I sort out my issues and wait to see what effects hormones will have on me when I presumably start taking them in March (appointment pending). In the meantime, I can’t help but internalize and logically (and probably futilely) think how I will beautiful on the outside.
I have never considered myself a super-attractive person I grew up as a nerd in school. Big nose. Unibrow. No one asked me to school dances; I went solo, or I nervously asked potential dates at the last-minute. No one was banging down my door to go out with me. So, I never really felt attractive. My best features (other than my brain) were my eyes and eyelashes, but women would only swoon over my long eyelashes because they wanted them for themselves, not because they made me more attractive.
Ever since I started wearing dresses to my therapy sessions and the transgender support group I attend, however, I have been receiving compliments. Not only do I have great eyelashes, but the nearly 70 pounds I’ve lost has also revealed some curves that my dresses highlight. I have my mom’s hips, no real discernible Adam’s apple. I have long legs that I have become more comfortable with since I started shaving them back in September. I have a sense of fashion. I’m a girly girl when it comes to fashion. Skirts and dresses? Yes, please. Apparently, I look good in a dress. Other trans women in my group seem a little jealous of what I have going for me. I’m a good candidate for laser, they say. One called me “stunning” in a red dress I have been wearing a lot. They like my hair. Even my therapist has complimented my appearance. Can it be that I could actually be more passable than I thought? Would it really only take some laser and some smooth skin to actually be seen as physically attractive? Six months ago, I would have never thought that possible.
So despite the ugliness of home and the rockiness this journey brings to my home life, there is a glimmer of hope that I can attain my goal of being attractive inside and out. Happiness is not unattainable. Internal and external beauty is a possibility. I might actually look good in a dress, and I like it.