A friend, truly hurting in dealing with the effects of the pandemic and her need to be herself, reached out to me recently. Here are some edited excerpts of her initial message:
“I’m wondering how seriously you contemplate “full time”?
My reason for asking is my own situation. I’m a life long trans woman, with my earliest memories made up of wishing I was female. I hid my desires and feelings for most of my life, but at age 60 decided to “deal”.
I’ve been married almost 40 years, and she’s been great at showing support. But full time, hormone regiment, pretty much anything which exceeds this secret double-life would be considered a bridge too far. I’m fully understanding of that (she didn’t sign up for this), but still I feel drawn to continue feminizing; dressing occasionally relieves the pressure but only temporarily. By the time I’m done “defrocking”, I’m already wishing it had lasted longer, and as you so acutely pointed out, “the tear-down is a bummer”. So true..
You may not even consider yourself trans, or perhaps consider yourself a “crossdresser” rather than a “transsexual” (we really have to work on a consensus of vocabulary!!). But I think I see in you the same woman I can see in my own heart. She smiles constantly and while en femme she feels whole, adores not flamboyance but honest female clothes because that’s what’s tasteful and feel “right”, and shows decorum and “class” (a misused word if ever there was one).
You said in your previous note that if alone, you would consider full time. So I guess my question, asked mostly as one trying to solve her own problems, is, “how do you manage?” How do you fend off all these emotions which seem at times so overwhelming? Is it loyalty and devotion to your marriage which keeps you from continuing?
I’m a wreck about this, and while COVID blues are probably partially to blame, I’ve seen this coming a long way off. I doubt I’d ever be able to look as convincing as you do (petite as you are), but it becomes less and less important. I manage to walk anywhere without setting off the fire alarms and that’s sufficient for me. I’m just can’t stop wishing I could “keep going”….”
Two items of note. After receiving this, I did fill her in on my backstory, which I did publicly on the old blog. No need to dig up old wounds here. And my dear, I am by no means petite! I just have an athletic build, which disappears when I simply take one day off. Trust me on that!
How much have I considered “full time”? The truth is not for one single moment. I say that because I adore being my wife’s husband, I love being “Dad”, I don’t wish to lose the lifelong friends I have and I have never been unhappy being male. Never, ever. That said, I find being female full of great joy. I simply love it. But not enough to bury the other side of my life and not enough to betray the great support my wife has given me. Now that you and everyone knows my full backstory, how could I ever do anything to disrupt the wonderful 35 year (and running) marriage that we have?
That said, if I lived in a world of complete selfishness, then yeah, I would give it serious consideration. While that may actually be the world we live in, it is not in me to be completely selfish, which has actually been to my detriment in life.
If I were forced to select a label, it would be “bi-gendered”. I have no gender dysphoria, but every idle thought I have is about getting dressed. I no longer even like the term “crossdresser” (although I use it here so that my blog comes up in appropriate Google searches). I simply “dress”. Not a single day has ever existed since October 2014 where I have not had frequent thoughts about my Kandi time, dressing.
You asked how I manage. My love for my wife makes it pretty simple. Transitioning, going full time, giving everything I have up, isn’t even a consideration. I would lose my job and with my personal baggage, would be unable to generate any income. Being a lonely homeless woman isn’t appealing to me.
Those that transition are incredibly brave souls. The ability to dress frequently allows me to scratch that itch often, so it never gets bad for me. And if I cannot dress, something has taken my focus, thereby directing me away from even thinking about dressing. When my mind is otherwise occupied (which is no longer that often), I don’t think about this.
Life certainly isn’t easy. And those of us with these gender issues come at this from a million different angles, a million different sets of life circumstances. There are no easy answers, but I do know, you have to seek happiness. If not, you simply cannot make others happy and/or give love.