Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 17 April 2015

Out

Or in this context actually it's more about coming out than going out.   For those of you who are not fully aware for a trans person the difference is considerable, but maybe not the same as for civilians.

For more years than I care to think about I was a firmly closeted cross dresser, I would dress up in private, and then admire myself in the mirror or maybe even take a few photographs.   This was fun, exciting even, but ultimately unsatisfactory.   Like most girls like me from time to time I would be hit with a feeling of disgust at what I was doing ~ I suspect largely triggered by the two factors of the knowledge of societal disapproval and the suspicion of sexual perversion ~ I would then decide to stop doing this, and clear out everything associated with the activity, clothes, makeup, photos, the lot! PURGING!

Of course because this is not an activity the need returns and we succombe, but still the private dressing up is unsatisfactory, there is the need to be seen by other people.   For some of the wilder transvestites I wonder if it is a need to be admired, for me it was a need to be accepted.   So I would start to go out, visiting exhibitions, going shopping, just popping out for a coffee.   Since I could not indulge my activities at home I would find myself going out more and more, and as I did it became more and more natural.   But going out is very different to coming out.

Coming out is the process of telling people about yourself, what has been your deepest secret, at times the source of shame and self loathing.  It is not easy.   Having said that in almost every case where I have come out to somebody they have been accepting, supportive and loving.   I suspect many of my friends prefer me now I am no longer the hairy bloke!  Yet it is still never easy, in most of our lives we still have some taboo, some area we can not go, somebody that for one reason or another that we find we cannot tell.  I don't yet know if that ever changes.

What I have found out is that coming out is not an action it is a process.   I started telling people over two years ago, and yet even now that I am living full time in my chosen gender there are still people I am having tell for the first time.   I think that everybody who needs to know, knows, and then I find I need to change my name on some other listing and I have to go through it all again.

At least with me the changes are pretty obvious, for my Gay and Lesbian friends it must be even worse, dealing with disapproval, denial, hate, is never easy even if it is just the potential.   What we tend to forget is that it is not just those of us who identify within the LGBTQ continuum who find that from time to time we need to come out, at some point almost everybody will have to.   It may be a mental health issue, it may be an illness it may be a relationship, we all have to have these difficult conversation, but it is better to have these conversations than to keep quiet.

There have even been situations where it has been difficult to publicly own my faith, just like Peter when he denied even knowing Jesus, but I thank God that he, and the rest of the disciples were inspired by the Holy Spirit to come out, for it is their work, and their faith that we are still building on today, and that inspire me to be bold and witness to my faith, even when it doesn't make me popular.
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