Sarahjanus's Blog

February 17, 2012

What I could have been.

It must be part of the evolution of becoming someone different. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. Or, is it part of becoming myself after being someone-else forever? I don’t know.

I’m a late bloomer, so to speak. I didn’t begin to seriously cross-dress until I was in my fifties. I had some “moments” earlier in my life but like so many other things, I suppressed them and carried on being what I was expected to be. Sometimes I wonder if I am overly vague in what I write, so I will try to be a bit more specific here.

I had a youth that was tarnished by a constant but not over-whelming sense of “not belonging”. I was a boy but not one of the boys. I had my male friends but they were my friends in a way that was never influenced by gender. I had few friends that were girls because I was socially awkward and felt inept. I was an emotional child and never particularly athletic. I was also the first-born for my parents, so I carry the scars of the first child, the hopes and expectations that didn’t materialize. I am now estranged from my parents. I am told by my S.O. that, since my parents are in their 80’s, they will pass without me correcting the relationship and I will live with the regret of not correcting before then.

My cousin is gay. As a youth he carried himself with an effeminate manner which caused my parents to believe him to be gay even as a teenager. We were only a year apart in age. I knew he was gay because I was intimate with him as a teenager, pretty much every chance we got. We lived a long distance apart so time together tended to be family vacations or holidays. Creating time together out of sight of the other family members was difficult when everybody was staying in the same house, but we usually managed something. There was only one time when we returned from a disappearance, having been gone too long for the cover story, that I thought our parents were wondering just what we had been up to.

This rather lengthy recounting is to establish a context. My father despised/despises homosexuals. He only tolerated my cousin because, like my aunt, he never had to deal with it directly and his nephew was family. He could turn a blind eye to it. I was always certain that I could never reveal any of my youthful escapades to him without getting a beating. I never did reveal them. I got smacked around for being late and I got smacked for doing simple everyday things wrong. I wasn’t about to broach any significant matters with him, sexual or otherwise. I learned that the path of least conflict was conformation, and so my life-course was set.

I conformed to expectations. I remained clearly hetero-sexual in spite of the pattern of less-than-stellar hetero-relationships. I didn’t ever let anyone get close to me emotionally, and I acted out.

Here I am today, sitting at a keyboard, dressed as a woman, feeling a level of comfort in my own skin that has eluded me for all of my life, which brings me back to my thoughts on evolution.

Suppressing my personality and conforming denied me the opportunity to go as the person I might have been. It also means that my dressing has had to go through a huge set of phases and stages quickly, to catch up with the mental and physical person. I began with shoes, added nylons, and then outer clothes before returning to under-garments, then make-up, wigs and forms. I had a stylized idea of how I should dress, which nearly always meant skirts or dresses.

My “conforming” personality is quite conservative, although it often screams out to be noticed. This life-long style is influencing how I dress as a woman, but that influence is waning. I now consciously move away from the drab colors, searching out the bright colors that I truly want. I made a pact with myself to not buy anything grey, black or blue unless I am absolutely certain that it is appropriate.

I have always been aware of the images of cross-dressers as middle-aged men dressed in ill-fitting lingerie. I knew that wasn’t me, but I have come to realize that lingerie is an important part of my attire and something I wish to acquire. I have a lot to learn about lingerie, what I should wear when etc. but it is now an accepted and sought-after part of my wardrobe. When I put on my outer clothes, I want to know that my under-garments are attractive, and matched. This is not like my drab under-wear, wearing whatever is in the drawer simply because it is convenient. Now, as I dress in the morning, I expect to see bright colors, fitted properly and coordinated top and bottom.

Since the beginning of this year, and it being winter in Canada, when I dress, I dress for comfort. I wear jeans, leggings or yoga pants. If I wear short-sleeved tops, I wear a sweater. Last summer I tried to wear a skirt every-day that I could, regardless of what I was doing.

Now, I have evolved. I dress as femininely as I can but as comfortably as I can for whatever it is I have to do. Jeans and flats in the house are the way. I would be ever so happy if I could go to the shops dressed as I am.

This is the evolution that I am wondering about, rocketing through the phases because I started so late in life. I have to wonder how I would have evolved if I had acknowledged this segment of my personality much earlier in my life. Would I have evolved to the same conservative styles? Or, would the greater length of time and the earlier start have allowed me to break out of the conservative mold and be more flamboyant. I know the women that appeal to me, and I mean in terms of attracting my attention, rather than sexually stimulating. They are the ones who would be described as well-dressed, or as having an under-stated class. They are not flashy, not overtly sexual in their style.

I am not longing to have my life back to do over. I am just wondering what path it might have taken if I had been more honest with myself and others far earlier.

I’ve written before that I am a coward. I still avoid confrontation, not as much as I once did but certainly more than my own ego is happy with. I’m not stating that my domineering father is responsible for that portion of my personality but he certainly was an influence. He might well have been the stressor that caused a pre-existing flaw to flourish rather than wither. In fairness, although I don’t believe it but I have to say it, perhaps he was a good man and I am just a flawed child who grew up to be a flawed adult.

Regardless, where I am now is not where I ever expected to be. My career was successful. I conformed well and advanced well. I achieved the goals I had set for myself and I am happy with the outcomes. I always knew the drive to cross-dress lived in me. I knew it never erupted before because my fears of being found out out-weighed the drive. In the end, the drive overcame the fears of being found out. I do not yet have the strength of personality to crawl out of the deep recesses of the closet I live in. I will probably never have that strength.

It is worth noting though, that I am a much happier person in all the segments of my life since I acknowledged the drive to cross-dress and began to explore the possibility that I might have lived a better life as a woman.

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1 Comment »

  1. So- start finding out whether people will accept you as a woman. Perhaps, some will. It may still be possible for you.

    Comment by Clare Flourish — February 17, 2012 @ 4:09 pm


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