Announcing Gabrielle, Part 1: Prologue

A lot has happened since I last wrote in this space.  There have been several holidays (even a new year!).  Oh, and I announced to the world that I am a woman named Gabrielle.

To catch up my long-time reader (OK, maybe readers, if I am lucky), I last wrote about how I was grieving my marriage back in October.  To this day, I still mourn the loss of what once was in terms of my marriage.  At the same time, life moves forward, and so did my transition in spite of the consequences.

Early in October, I began to seriously consider the idea of going full-time.  A few weeks earlier, I had experienced my epiphany moments, and I was coming to accept myself and who I truly am: a woman.  I started talks with my HR contact at work to see how we might think about getting the ball rolling there.  My wife and I began fighting over my parental title, as she adamantly opposed me taking on any type of motherly moniker.  I go shopping with my friends with the intention of beginning to expand my wardrobe.  The blocks were beginning to be laid.  A plan was forming.

On Halloween, my wife and children attended a combined birthday/Halloween party for the one-year sister of my son’s T-Ball teammate.  For the 23rd year in a row, I dressed as a female character.  For the first time ever, I was Cinderella, and I showed up at the party as such.  I generated stares and the attention of children.  My wife was very receptive to the attention I was receiving, and it made her uncomfortable—especially given everything we were going through with my transition.  Later that night, I went to San Francisco with a trans friend of mine (dressed as Elsa), and we walked the city.  We had a great time walking and talking, and during the night, I got a little education on womanhood:  a man, probably a lot buzzed, came up to the two of us and began seriously hitting on us.  While flattered, I really didn’t know how to react.  This was the first time a man actually saw me as a woman and called me gorgeous.  Granted, I was in costume and he had been drinking, but still… this was new for me.  We eventually got rid of the creeper, but now I knew what it was like to be pursued.

November was filled with anxiety as I continued to contemplate a timeline for going full-time.  The month was also punctuated by continuing fights over my future parental title.  For me, this was a major sticking point that needed to be resolved before I could come out to my children, and I felt they were the first major people to talk with about me before I shared with wider groups.  I work retail, and so I also had to balance home life with Thanksgiving and Black Friday, as well as my new promotion I had recently received.  I resolved that with all of the business in my life, and the fact that December would be crazy, too, that I there was no way I could really go full-time before the new year, despite my growing desire to do so.

December was full of retail work, my wife’s church work, her birthday, my daughter’s birthday, and of course, Christmas.  I tried to plan time out with my wife for her birthday, but she wasn’t having it.  The Christmas season was difficult because we both know that this is likely our last Christmas as a complete family.  Divorce is imminent, as is finding a way to restart our lives individually.  I also had to figure out how to tell the kids.

The three months between October and December were deeply unsettling.  I finally stopped waffling as to whether or not transition was for me.  For the first time, I took active steps to figure out what it would it take to go full-time and start putting a plan together.  But now that I was ready to move forward, the pain those decisions caused my my wife were like new wounds, and she lashed out at me several times.  Arguments and disagreements ranged from the minor to the major, many if which I really don’t want to rehash now.

By the time Christmas came, the plan was in full motion.  I had selected a new name, informed work of a timeline to come out there, resolved to increase my estrogen to maximum doses, and mentally prepared myself to come out to my children.  Once I told the kids (which I will write about later), the ball began to roll.  I told the last remaining significant groups in my life so they would not be surprised when I went public to the world.  I began to dress almost daily in early January with a few exceptions as I spread the word and prepared for my final reveal.

On January 11, I officially began living full-time as Gabrielle.

In future posts, I will write about coming out to my children, my first day at work, and my first month as a full-time woman.  But for now, I wanted to catch you up on my life and share the news with you as well.

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