This post is the 24th 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.
July 5, 2020
I have been experimenting with some expectations of women in our society that I have internalized. The biggest so far is shaving my legs. I haven’t shaved my legs since my birthday 5 months ago. I know that many women in colder climates don’t shave their legs during the winter. I have gone months without shaving. But they are months of long pants or opaque, warm tights. Since I got a head start, I decided to leave my legs unshaved to see how that felt in my new self. Obviously, for a while it was like before: too cold for anything but long pants. Then it got warmer and I found the pair of ¾ length running pants I have. I wore those on dog walks in the evenings for a while. What new sensations! I can feel the air moving the hair. It’s quite long and there’s a lot of it. My legs look quite masculine, I think, when looked at on their own. A couple of weeks ago, I got a couple of pairs of long shorts. They come to just above my knees. I started wearing those around home and in the backyard. I left them on when my daughter’s partner came over (the person furthest from immediate family in my life right now, thanks to covid). Each new scenario was a push to just set aside my fear. (Fear of what, by the way? People pointing and jeering? No, I think of being the weirdo I’ve always been afraid of being seen as.) July was Jasper’s moving day. We had to go over to the old place to get all of their things. I wore my shorts (good thing, because it was hot!). I didn’t know we’d be going directly from doing that to the new place and in doing so, meeting the building manager. Then directly from there, Barry and I went out to get some things they still needed – to the Dollar Store and then Superstore. By the end of the day I felt empowered! No one pointed and stared. And it struck me that maybe with the rest of what I’ve got going on, the hairy legs might make some people take a second look and think, “I assumed woman because of breasts, but those legs look pretty masculine.” For some reason, that kind of possibility makes me happy and helps me feel a lot less like I’m a gender failure.