By Teresa H.
It was a cold wet February morning some four years ago when the removal van eased out of the drive of my old house with my furniture and possessions. It was a bitter sweet moment, I was leaving the house that had been a family home for 30 years and it also marked the end of a 45 year old marriage BUT it also offered the start of a new life, a new adventure, I was about to truly find ME!
While this is only loosely connected to the rest of the story I’ve mentioned it to allow others to consider exactly what it means to make a very difficult decision, to take that leap into the unknown. The loose connection is I kept the dog , a lovely Labrador called Lucy (sadly now passed on).
To go from closet crossdressing with monthly trans social evenings to full time was daunting, I had to dig deep and find that inner strength and belief. I’ll never forget my first full day, I hadn’t met any of my neighbors and I had a long list of jobs to do to set up my new home. In that one day I visited, a DIY store, a car parts store, I did my first supermarket and others and I registered at my new GP’s surgery as Terri. I was exhausted when I returned home but felt over the moon for how well the day had gone, Teresa was alive and well .
Now to my possible mistake, some may not see it as I do so I would appreciate your comments and how differently you would have handled it.
From the start I found it easier to walk my dog in the morning in male mode and on my return I would dress and apply makeup, I met many walkers and formed good friendships. I did this for several months but it made less and less sense, I had returned to living a double life. There was no easy way, one morning I just applied my makeup and dressed suitably for the weather conditions. I was amazed how they took to me as Teresa, it wasn’t a total surprise to them because I always wore nail varnish even in male mode. As my life has progressed I’ve joined a new art group and other associations so the problem I’ve now encountered is that despite the majority of people only knowing me as Teresa, the small number who knew me in male mode have friends who they could possibly spill the beans to. I do realise that some of you may be asking the question of ” Passing “, all I can say to that is I truthfully don’t have a problem with being outed as a guy, in four years no one has asked the question, I know I’m I’m treated as a female rather than ” a guy in a dress “.
I have to admit I’m not sure how I would handle someone pointing a finger saying, “You’re a man !”. In hindsight I feel I made a mistake I should have dressed totally from the start. I don’t do labels anymore, I do have GD, appearing in male mode is painful but at my age hormones and surgery make less sense, I believe my life is as good as it gets. I’m truly happy for once in my life .
A bonus story: This morning I had to do some shopping in town, on my return the water company was dealing with a leak two houses down from me. I approached one of the guys digging a hole in the pavement to ask if my water would be turned off, he assured me it wouldn’t. As I turned to walk home a new neighbor pulled in his drive so I introduced myself, he replied with his name and then started to chat about his new home. He had married his new partner last year and was looking forward to setting up the new home with his husband . Then he looked at me and said, ” You look great “. I didn’t reply for a moment so he repeated, ” You really do look great “. I quietly thanked him. Some might be over the moon with this compliment but I was unsure if he should have said it. My thoughts were he probably wouldn’t say that to a woman he met for the first time so he’d read me as something different. Our conversation continued by him inviting me in for coffee anytime and I returned the offer, then his partner came out of the house and I was introduced to him. Basically they appear to be two nice guys enjoying a new life together, if they are happy I don’t have a problem .