I have been thinking of late about how much more I feel like myself (some would say “true” self) since I began my transitioning to live my life as a woman. It is still surprising to me how much progress I continue make in my transitioning (My Amazing Progress as of 2/16/20). I have started voice feminization training,† and I had my first visit to an endocrinologist and initial blood work. So, I will attempt to relate how I am feeling about myself these days in this post.
The first thing to say, is I have never felt more myself than I can ever remember feeling in my whole entire life. One reason for this is not connected directly to my female gender identity, but to having overcome bipolar depression and daily anxiety (or at least beat them into remission). But, as I have written in other posts the freeing up of my mind was directly responsible for my ability to explore my femininity. Without this period of respite it is doubtful that Stephie would have bloomed as she has.
During the last 6 years in addition to exploring my femininity I have been able to develop a strong sense of self, which goes deeper than just my gender identity. It affects my whole person. That said it has really served me well in identifying as a woman. It makes me comfortable in expressing myself as a woman. And being comfortable as a woman is what makes me say I am more myself than I have ever been in my life. I think something else always was missing; although not knowing exactly what.
When I began to transition I was not all that certain how comfortable I could be going out presenting as a woman. I started slowly in July and had already been going to the pool in woman’s short swimsuit bottoms with shaved legs. I wore a tee on top. I was also taking my twice daily walks in shorts. But now I added leggings and woman style tees. But, in October I came out to a mental health program I attend, and this allowed me to start presenting there. I was soon doing make up and eventually wigs and skirts. I was at this time travelling by public transportation or cab. By January I notice something. I felt comfortable when I was out. Something that was a big question mark last summer.
So I started to think about how and why I was feeling comfortable presenting as a woman. The main reason I believe was I was comfortable presenting because I was comfortable with myself. It didn’t feel odd or off. It felt right and good. I feel like a natural woman in my mind, plus and minus some body parts. It feels good to be free to express the Stephie me. I hesitate to call it my real self because I was real before I discover I had a female gender.
I continue to expand my life as a woman. For example, I just came out to the property manager at the housing program I am in after I finally found out housing discrimination is illegal in the county I live in. The state also. He was real cool with it. Ask about names and pronouns. I told him Stephie and she/her. When he called Yesterday he ask for Stephie (Yay!). Now I have to come out to my male roommates. I hardly know one because I am hardly ever there because I am practically 24/7 at my girlfriend’s place. I have arranged to come out to my roommates with a mental health intermediator, which the housing program has a contract with. This is for safety reasons as I said I hardly know him. I only met him twice. My other roommate should not be a threat.
I can sometimes sit and bask in my feelings of femininity. Like now writing this wearing black figure hugging cami in jeans as I sit on the couch with my legs crossed and up on the coffee table looking at my femme fuzzy socks. It’s a wonder that I had not really discovered this me before. Sure there were times and plenty of them in my 5 years of exploration of being femme, this is amazingly different. The feelings never go away now. I fall asleep feeling like a gurl.
I often begin to walk down the street thinking and sometimes singing “Stephie’s got it going on.” I know it sounds kind of puffed up, but it expresses the feelings I have inside about myself, and it naturally comes forth. It is also one of my mantras. Another one is the future is open because who knows I might bloom enough to fill a whole garden. Anyway, when I am walking down the street singing it, it helps to give me a little extra swing to my ass, when I wish it to.
So here I am. Just me. The “real” me if you wish. And I continue to bloom and others around see it too. That’s super affirming. And I have a healthy amount of self-love and self-care. This will keep Stephie mentally well as she goes through the process of transitioning to a living her life as a woman.
† Unfortunately, my training has been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic as the university I am going to for it has close for the rest of the spring semester. The email I received telling me of the closing said I could continue at the start of the summer semester. Fingers-crossed.