This post is the eighteenth in a series.
I did quite a bit of journaling through the time when I was coming to recognize my reality. I would like to share some of these entries with you as a window into what it means to come out. Please come back to read through the rest of the journey. If you haven’t read the first, you can click here to be redirected to that post, called Truth. From there, at the bottom of each post you can navigate to the next.
Two days ago I went clothes shopping as me for the first time. Haley came with me to Value Village. I needed pants and wanted to see if I could find some less feminine styles in the women’s section. I couldn’t try anything on because of covid, so I just picked everything that seemed possible. When I got home, they were mostly a miss – some too big and some too small.
But what I was really looking forward to was looking at men’s shirts. Women’s tops have always been awkward – too lacy, too gauzy, too frilly, too something-y of a pattern, sleeves too short, too, too, too. To look through so many shirts with possibility, just considering pattern, colour, fabric was so freeing. At some point I thought, “Am I really going to dress like this? At work?” And then realized/gave myself permission to dress how I like finally. It was euphoria, truly! I chose so many! I started with short sleeves because summer is just starting. I have never had that kind of choice in women’s short-sleeved tops! I also looked at long-sleeved ones. I got a few of those too. I got lots! It’s try it on at home and return what you need to, so I gave myself freedom to choose lots.
Trying on things was less euphoric because I HATE MY BELLY! So many of the shirts just didn’t fit over that area of my body. But, trying them on and seeing them on me and imagining wearing them to work made me so happy!
When I described to Jasper how I felt while shopping, he said that it sounded like gender euphoria. Hallelujah!
The inner dialogue while looking at the shirts was so interesting. I’m used to shopping in that section for Barry. I’ve always had to imagine/guess what he would like. This time I was thinking of me. I was remembering the process of choosing tops in the women’s section. There, I was always trying to imagine/guess what a woman my age, working where I do should choose. This was one of my first experiences of giving myself freedom to ask, “What do I like? What do I want?” At one point, it brought me to tears, which I tried to control quickly. What an experience!
I am now planning on having a conversation with my supervisor and my director about coming out as we go back to the office. Definitely that clothing style will be different. I haven’t decided about pronouns. I’m not sure why I can’t decide. I don’t want to inconvenience people, maybe? I don’t want to have to explain it to everyone? Or I just don’t know if I like it? I better ask people here at home to give it a try so I can see what it feels like before then.