TBT, Tranniversary* post.
Two years ago this week I first used the word trans to seriously describe myself. It’s breathtaking how much changed from that day forward, but it doesn’t feel at all to me like things moved that fast.
I had been circling around it for awhile. Mainly I was bothered by my sexual orientation, but the more open I became the more was revealed. It was like unpacking a very large trunk and discovering buried underneath the denial and regret and rationalization there was this whole other person waiting to be reborn.
I thought “Well, maybe I’ll do some cross dressing, have some fun, play with that again”. I chose a cross dressing event to go to in the city, Halloween themed, I did modified Red Riding Hood. My wife helped me find an amazing red sparkly dress on Haight street, and I had picked up a decent wig at a local shop. I got ready at my friend Amy’s salon in the city. It was the first time in 25 years that I’d put myself together en femme.
The event itself was kind of unremarkable. A few nice people in various states of feminized disrepair. A tall trombone playing cross dresser, a short fireplug-shaped truck driver in an overly lacey babydoll nightie, and a married guy I had corresponded with online with who maintained a stunningly complicated life as a closeted cross dresser.
It certainly WAS NOT the kind of event that leads one to completely upend their life and declare themselves to be transgender.
But there was a moment. A very sweet transgender woman noticed me looking at myself in the mirror and she said “You are just the cutest thing”.
And just I said, “Yeah. I know…”
I thought Robyn was DEAD. I had killed her. Suffocated her under 200 pounds of weight gain and an ocean of alcohol. And then miraculously I had become someone’s husband and father and that was amazing and all was forgotten.
And now here she was looking back at me in the mirror. And it wasn’t “Oh, this fun. Oh, this is sexy. Oh, this brings back memories.”
It was like finding out your lost love or your best friend or your twin sister had come back to LIFE. I can’t overstate how happy I was to see her and how heartbreaking it was to remember losing her to begin with.
The next day I began to seriously question whether the answer to years of discomfort and unhappiness were due to being transgender. Each day after that the answer was yes and yes and yes even as it set my life on fire and burned everything to the ground.
It’s awesome, and it’s terrible and it’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth. Once you finally know the truth what else can you do but try to live it as best you can?
*I got some blowback about the term Tranniversary. I think it’s a witty and apt description of the event. I also believe Tranny is our term, not “theirs”.