If you’ve been reading here for a while, you may remember that my desire to crossdress sort of went into hibernation back in the late 90s. During this period, which lasted about 10 years, I still thought about my own inner femininity every day, but I just never got out the clothes.
It may not be possible to know or fully understand why this happened. It may have had to do with the fact that all of my women’s clothes had gotten old, sort of ill-fitting, out of style, and, well, just a little too “tranny” for my more mature stage of life. Or maybe it had to do with the fact that the simple thrill of getting dressed had finally dissipated. Or it might have been finding a true purpose for my masculinity (i.e. parenting).
Whatever it was, it’s obvious now that my subconscious (in addition to my conscious) was still working on the problem of my gender discomfort. And when the desire to crossdress returned, it did so with a vengeance. I suddenly needed in the worst way to update my wardrobe and get dressed as often as possible.
Based on the opportunities which presented themselves, that was about once a week for a while, graduating to twice or three times a week after a while. Then it waxed and waned a bit as I realized that the dressing was not necessary for me to experience my inner femininity, but rather a way to express it when it could not be contained.
In January of this year, I was up to four days a week — the maximum allowed by my schedule, though I continued to experience the solid sense of my own potential womanhood even when not dressed. In some ways, I made peace with the clothing questions during that time.
As of February 1, however, I’ve entered a period when dressing is just not possible at all — ever. This will continue until early May, and I have really no choice but to just deal with it.
My gender therapist (!!), when she heard this said, “Well, this will be a real test for you then.” I agreed, even though she did not say what exactly she thought was about to be tested.
I can only speak for myself, but the enforced non-crossdressing has raised a number of questions which I must answer:
- Can you be in transition if you don’t dress like a woman?
- Can you be in transition if you don’t think about transition constantly?
- Can you be in transition if you don’t think about it at all for a few days?
- Can you be in transition if you don’t do anything about it today?
- How does one define being “in transition” anyway?
- At what point do you cross the line into transition?
- If there is such a line, have I already crossed it?
My conclusions have been a little bit startling, even for me, because I realized some truths about myself and what I believe which cannot be denied.
1. Transition is not about clothing, or anatomy, or even social roles and interactions. It is about seeking personal wholeness and consonance, with everything else flowing forth from that.
2. You begin transition at the first moment this goal crystallizes. From there it is essentially inevitable.
3. You continue in transition as long as you retain that crystal clear goal and move toward it, regardless of the speed.
4. You progress in your transition as long as you are identifying the next steps, preparing for them, and taking them when they come along.
5. Pausing your transition is not the same as abandoning it.
6. Doing nothing today is not the same as pausing. As long as the goal remains, transition continues.
7. Being present to your transition is all that is required. When it calls, you answer. When it tries to step forward, you let it.
8. Your life shouldn’t revolve around your transition anyway. To have a full life, transition must be only one aspect of who you are. You must not put your life on hold in order to transition.
With these things in mind, I have to — and do — accept that I have been in transition since the idea first really crystallized for me two years ago. Ever since then I have imagined the next steps, prepared for them, and then taken them, overcoming obstacles (mostly internal) along the way.
Now in gender therapy, I consider that my next step would be hormone therapy, and I am actively preparing for that. When the day comes (there is no “if”), I will be ready and will happily step across that line just as I have others in the past.
In other words, the real “real life” test, which I have already begun, is the test of whether I can actually take the necessary steps to bring about my transition to womanhood. Clearly, I can take them, and have, and will continue.
Only if I reach a step that I cannot take, or if the goal should blur or fade, would my transition be either paused or abandoned. It could happen, but I don’t see it right now.
And the startling revelation is that I am already over the line and have been for some time. No amount of dressing or not dressing can change that. The external will flow from the internal, and the internal does not stop for lack of opportunity to express itself.
My goal remains clear, and everything between me and it is just another (inevitable) step to be prepared for and taken.