Inspired by an almost throw away comment on Yet Another TransGender Blog (YATGB) about the need of a cross dresser to be seen I have been thinking about why I need to be affirmed by others. How I have changed over the last few years, and how that has been reflected in the blog. Just the other day I was musing on how few selfies I now take, and certainly how few I now share compared to when both Paula and Paula's Place were young.
For many years my cross dressing was a furtive thing, back in the days when the World experienced me as a man, I felt I needed to hide, to deny, to be secretive. My dressing would be limited to when I was at home alone, or occasionally furtive late night expeditions at remote or unfrequented locations, regardless of just how dangerous this actually was. I was more afraid of ridicule than I was of assault!
|Giving the World every chance|
I think that perhaps the key is in that phrase "The World experienced me as..." I wanted the World to experience me as a woman, I still do. Not as a trans woman, nor as a cross dresser, but simply as a woman. To that end I needed to go out to be seen in the World, to perform, to shop, to socialise that way, and only in that way could the World experience me. Now it will be no surprise to any one who knows me that I can be a bit of a show off, I'm not shy of a photo opportunity, neither will I let the chance of getting up on a platform and talking pass me by, so I gave the World every opportunity going to get the full experience!
These days I'm still not shy, but I realised the other day that I mostly live the life of a heterosexual lady of a certain age and background, for the way most people interact with me, and most of my activities that is simply who I am, and how the World now experiences me. My trans history is largely irrelevant,
To a certain extent I no longer need the affirmation of my gender from others as much as I used to. Now I am much more settled in my gender identity, I no longer get my sense of identity from my perceived gender, these days I get my sense of self, of identity more from other aspects of self. From my music, my composition, my work, my relationships. And, this is just as much a part of my transition (or maybe more) as hormones, surgery, or clothing choices. I'm not at all sure that my transition will ever be completed (simply too much baggage) but these psychological changes actually seem to me to be largely the object of it.