Was ever what a choice? Deciding to come out and transition. I knew from the start that actually being a woman was not a choice. Granted, I did not know where it would lead. I only took very timid steps at first. But, once I found my bearings, I began to take the first steps to live my life as a woman.
So, I never thought of my being a woman as a choice. I did and still do think of it as finally recognizing the gender I had along, but couldn’t see because of all the gender fog (Trying to look back through the gender fog (part 1) that enveloped my previous 59 years. That recognition was the start of my womanhood, and I began to be Stephie. And since that point on November 10th in the year 2018, I have never felt like anything else besides a woman. I would later have the overwhelming feeling that I Have Always Been of the female gender.
I tried to imagine life as a man, and utterly failed to feel one drop of manhood. But not only that, I look back on my entire life and have no sense that it was live in a male gender. Yes, my memories recall having lived as boy and then later as a man, and all of my life events. It is rather strange to think I live for 59 years before being female became apparent to me. But, that is now seen by me to be the truth.
So, now I ask the question – Since being a woman was obviously not a choice, was my decision to come out to my partner, Bette, and then to transition a choice? I new right from the started that I wanted to come out to Bette. That was never in doubt. How to do it and when and where is what I had to figure out. After four months of being Stephie only to myself (and others online), I had found a way to do it. I have told this story in other posts of mine. I had bounce some of the ways I could reveal myself to her, but it was all an exercise in overthinking. But, there came a day when Bette told me, “You make me feel happy.” That evening I saw her on the couch as I came into the living room. It was like a light switch being turned on in my mind. I would go over and sit beside her, and ask her “if I would still make her happy if I was a girl.” Her response was not exactly accepting, but there was not a hint of rejection.
Stephie had step out of the closet where I kept my dress up appearal (now gone). After all it was not exactly the kind of thing she would like to see. All of my clothes, accumulated over the previous four years (my exploration period), were sexy wear, and some downright slutty. It would be awhile before I would wear anything womanly in front of her. But, first I had to “decide” whether or not to transition to living my life as a woman. Notice the scare quotes. Because that’s what I am going to try to determine in this post.
Even after I came out to Bette, it was unclear to me whether I would transition or not. I certainly thought about it a lot. I will say that often I would just fine myself thinking about. And, to what degree. And would it included hormones (hrt). I believe by June I had made a “decision.” But, was this a decision. It didn’t really feel like a decision. It was something I found I had a strong desire to do. Was there a real choice to be made? Hold tight for an answer.
Then, my thoughts turned to how and when. I will say I let my intuition lead the way as far as the when, but for the how and executing the when it required thought. But, I feel that intuition led the way. Because intuition is largely an unconscious affair† it seems to lead away from considering transitioning as a choice.
I next found myself desiring feminine apparel to appear in. And also, an aversion to wearing masculine clothing. I did begin to purchase clothing of the feminine variety, but not blatantly so.
July 10, 2019 I came out to my therapist, and I would consider this point as the beginning of my transitioning. Hrt at that point seemed like a forgone conclusion. Again, did I decide this?
The social transitioning part was like what to do next, not what to decide to do next. Same, with my legal name change; it seemed like something set in stone. It was only timing that required a decision. Changing names with organizations and such, was also something that seem natural to do.
There is one aspect of transitioning that really did appear as a decision, or a decision process. This was whether or not to have gender confirmation surgery. First, could I handle the aftermath of this kind of very invasive surgery? Check—have had other major surgeries. Second, could I handle the length of aftercare (actually endless)? Check—I spent a year getting back the ability to walk unaided from a motorcycle accident when I was 21, which included a compound break of my left femur. So, I believed I could get through it. Decision or not? Not, or mostly not. I feel that deep inside this surgery is a necessity. It did have to decided being able to handle the surgery, though.
I will admit that decisions were involved in transitioning. But, these were along the lines of how to obtain the various things involved with my transition. But, within me was a deep drive to live my life as a woman. Not only that , but the woman I wanted to appear as. I can honestly say that I had no real choice in the matter; however, there were many decisions to be made along the way.
† My view of intuition is that it is a 3 step process with only the last one being conscious. Are brains do an incredible amount of work in the background putting together the senses that we will perceive. Granted, this is lightening quick (not far from the truth since nerve’s singles other cells through electrical singles, which leads to the release of chemicals picked up by the receiving cells, which does not happen at the speed of lightening). So, I believe the first step is we sense our external and internal environments, which may or may not be apparent to us. From these sensing occurrences comes feelings, which provides us with more information on our internal environment. Finally, an intuition is formed, and if our brains determine it to be important enough for us to know, it becomes conscious. There to be acted on or not. This requires cognition outside of the intuition phase. I also have come to believe that women more times than not pay more attention to their intuitions than men.