The first MN T-Girls event was held in November 2013.
I think. I don’t know, I am not a historian.
Since then I have evolved in terms of my presentation, confidence, and identity. I went from nervously going out into the real world and only visiting LGBTQIA+ coffee shops to strutting downtown and through the biggest shopping mall in the state.
My evolution is not unique. This happens to us naturally. The more often we go out the more confident we become. The more we realize that *this* isn’t as big of a deal as we might think it would be. The first few times I went out en femme I was sure I would be yelled at and harassed.
I mean, not everyone that I interact with is happy to see a transperson, but there’s been much less (obvious) hate than I expected there would be.
Part of the reason for forming the T-Girls was remembering how scary it was to go out en femme the first few times. I hoped more of us would be ready to go out into the real world if they could do so in a group. Safety in numbers, after all.
Over the years I have seen girls like me make their first step into the real world. I have held their hand as they shook in fear of being in public for the first time. I have walked to the parking lot of so many shopping malls so a girl wouldn’t have to walk in alone. I have sat next to girls at restaurants who were too terrified to say a word.
I have seen girls cry from happiness of being in the real world and I have felt their joy of being out for coffee en femme. I have seen girls blossom and grow and embrace this side of themselves.
And then, sometimes, I never see them again.
At one point they were there for each and every monthly outing but one day they stopped coming.
And I wonder about them. I wonder if something happened to them. I wonder if they went back into the closet. I wonder if they are okay. I hope they are happy and safe.
Sometimes I do hear from them, though. And most of the time they’ve stopped coming for a pretty amazing reason… they don’t need the group anymore.
They joined the group to make friends, to get used to being in public, to learn about who they are, what they wanted. This was a part of their journey. But somewhere along the way they no longer felt that they needed to only do things with other girls like themselves. They felt safe being alone. The saw the world was more accepting of t-girls than they initially thought.
When this happens I think of it as graduation, in a way.
And I can relate. As I stated earlier I myself started going out en femme to t-girl friendly cafes and transgender support groups but now I go everywhere.
They’ve found the confidence to be themselves in a very complicated, bewildering world. Of course I will miss them but I am so happy for them.