Have I not posted since February? Oh my!
When I first started this blog, I mainly began writing as a means to get my feelings out and share my experiences when I felt I had very few options available to me. I think my recent hiatus is as a result of my ever expanding social circle. That is, I have more people to talk to! This is especially true since coming out as a full-time in January. Prior to that, I had to pick and choose who I talked to and when, for I did not want my secret getting out any sooner than I desired. Those restrictions melted away when I went Facebook official.
I soon came to realize that I had an enormous amount of people who supported me, even those I had not talked to in decades. On significant posts like my transition announcement, photos of my after a professional photo session, or even my birthday, I can receive up to 120 reactions, and for a girl like me who is happy to get 10 likes and a few comments, that’s huge and esteem lifting. With all of the outpouring of love, I found that I did not need to post to my blog as much, but that doesn’t seem right either. While there are a minuscule amount of people that actually read my words here (including my wife), I should continue to document my feelings and journey. If I can help even one person with my words, if someone can be inspired or guided in their journey because of my experiences, then I am doing a service for others. And I do myself a service by continuing to express myself. So while there will be hiatuses in my writing in the future, I am still resolved to write in this space, and I hope you find me interesting enough to read.
So, what has happened since I came out (which I documented in 3 separate posts before my hiatus)? A lot of life, really. My son graduated kindergarten(!), and his teacher and fellow parents came to accept me, as far as I could tell. I even accompanied my son’s class on a field trip as a chaperone, and no one questioned it, not even the kids. I felt like such a mom, and I felt empowered. I feel it is important for me to play an active role in his learning, and I do not want to be a parent who is absent in the classroom. That doesn’t mean I need to be teacher’s pet or hover over my son in class, but I need to know I can freely participate in his learning and his activities without barrier, and chaperoning this trip help prove that is possible.
Work has kept me busy. I work as a front line supervisor in retail for that company–the one that recently informed the world of its already existing equal opportunity employment program that reiterated employees and guests were invited to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. That statement put me in a bit of a spotlight–more than the one I was already in after coming out only a few months prior–but I am lucky to work in a very progressive area, and it really has been a non-issue so far. Lucky me. That’s not to say it’s been all rosy. I have been harassed and offended at least twice in 5 months, but overall, guests have been incredibly accepting, and that makes my life easier. I am even bold enough to wear a dress at work now, something no one else at my store does.
On the volunteer front, I have been bust there, too. I’m not sure I have shared this before here, but I am a Little League umpire now finishing my 11th consecutive season on the field. My transition caused waves in my local league, and I even considered resigning my position as Umpire-in-Chief based on the undercurrent that occurred when I came out. As the season has progressed though, I believe I have settled most fears and both my league president and the district administrator acknowledge my skills. We’ll see how well I have allayed fears when next year’s board members are elected. Will they vote me in again?
I have also experienced some interesting things just being a girl. People hold doors for me, compliment my beauty, and even flirt with me. These are things I am adjusting to, for I never received that kind of treatment as a male. It is definitely flattering, but I also find myself having to learn things that a prepubescent girl would have been taught at an early age. Things like how to turn a guy down, avoid creepers, properly bending down when wearing a skirt, and using caution when walking alone night. While I can take care of myself, I find I need to be a little more vigilant as I get more comfortable being in my body.
5 months full-time. Really, that time has flown by. A friend of mine projected her experience on me and warned me about how difficult the first year of full-time would be, but I feel like I am right in the groove. I do not question where I am because I went through so much agony getting to this point. I already have a sense of style. I already have acceptance of most of my family. My body continues to develop and change. But ultimately, I am happier. I am more comfortable in my softer skin, my attire, my makeup, and I continue to make improvements when I need to. I am certainly not where I want to finish. There is much to work on. But, I am not in the dark place I was two years ago when I started this journey. I am not as depressed or contemplating very dark things. I am more optimistic in the face of financial and personal despair. I am poor. I will lose my wife. But I am so much closer to the authentic me. I have my children, and I have support of my family, friends, and even my wife (as much as she can offer through the pain she is suffering). The authentic me can look forward, while the old me had given up. The last two years have been unquestionably difficult, but the last 5 months have actually oddly been easier than the rest. No secrets. No hiding. Just me being the real me, and I am a better, happier, more complete person for it.