June isn’t only the unofficial start to summer, it’s also Pride month. So, happy Pride to you!
I have met a lot of t-girls over the years, mostly through the MN T-Girls. With almost every monthly event there is a new girl attending and most times it’s their VERY first time out in public en femme. When I find this out, I always like to ask how they’re feeling and what they think. Most of the time it’s a combination of nervousness and excitement, but also, in a way, anti-climatic. Almost as if it’s not a big deal they are out of their living room. To clarify, it’s a big deal to them, but for the rest of the world, it doesn’t seem to be. I remember the first time I went out (and echoes of those thoughts still linger each time I go out) I was certain everyone would be staring and whispering about the “man in a dress”, but that wasn’t the case, and it still isn’t the case. The majority of people are too busy in their own world to really think or care or murmur about someone else. Yes, there will always be nosy and rude people but there are far less of them than we think they are.
And thank goodness for that.
After the initial… well, shock wears off for the new girl and they settle into whatever our group is doing, they begin to come out of their shell a little and relax and get to experience being out en femme, an experience they may have waited decades to have. It doesn’t take long for happiness to shine through. They are finally out of the house! They are talking to other girls like them! They are having a glass of wine at a restaurant or shopping or whatever the group is doing that month. It’s a simple thing, but experiencing it en femme makes it literally a brand new world. Pretty soon their initial shock at being out of their home en femme changes to amazement that they actually did it… and then it’s not uncommon for them to be proud of herself. How beautiful is that?
I am so proud of every t-girl for so many reasons. When she acknowledges and accepts and embraces herself, when she shops for her first dress, watches a makeup tutorial online, gets a bra fitting, comes out to someone, or one of the countless other milestones of her life. Pride is not only about the LGBTQ+ community being proud of who they are as a group, but us being proud of ourselves as individuals. It’s easy to forget that Pride is something other than a corporation changing their social media profiles to a rainbow or a mannequin wearing a “Love is Love” t-shirt at a department store. It’s about US, it’s about me, it’s about you, it’s about our accomplishments, no matter how small.
And our accomplishment is not always something the rest of the world sees. Sometimes it’s that quiet moment when we whisper to ourselves “I am transgender” or that brave moment when we buy a pair of panties. I have had a lot of adventures en femme, but the one thing that doesn’t change is that every little thing I do when I leave the house is an accomplishment. I have bought countless cups of coffee en femme and on one hand it’s become so normal it’s hardly noteworthy… but there could come a time when something I’ve done a million times turns out, well, badly. What if the barista is horrible? What if the customer behind me says something rude or hateful? What if so many things?
We are who we are because we have no choice. Denying our gender identity or what we want to wear doesn’t do anything. We are still a girl like us even if we don’t want to be. I am who I am even if I didn’t want to be who I am. The choice lies in deciding how we react to who we are. The first step in all of this begins with acknowledgment. We have to recognize that there is something more to us than we let on. We need to understand that being curious about trying on a dress is something more than just wondering what it would be like. Acceptance comes next. We stop denying who we are, we stop thinking that this is a phase, that this is something we will outgrow. Embracing who are is the final step in this. Accepting something doesn’t necessarily mean we are happy about it. But we are who we are, and this side of us is wonderful and I am so happy I am who I am. Who you are.
Who WE are.
I am happy with who I am, and I am proud of who I am. Everything I do whether it is buying a pair of panties in boy mode or going to the mall en femme are things that at one point I never thought I would do. Accomplishing these things took a tremendous amount of courage and time and I know whatever you did, whether it was a baby step or a huge strut in stilettos, it wasn’t easy. I hope whatever you did you were proud of yourself, because I’m proud of you.