This post is the 25th 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 12, 2020
I want to write the date July 1, 2020 down for posterity. It’s the first day I went out in public with wildly unshaved legs. I mean, the last time I shaved was my birthday. Interesting: as I wrote that last sentence, it felt familiar, so I went back and looked. I wrote about this a week ago, but had forgotten until my brain came up with the same idea. So, why, in my head, are thoughts about unshaved legs still unexpressed when I’ve already written them down? Perhaps it’s because the experience of going out in public still feels so new and uncharted. I still notice when I’m going off my home territory to be around people. I still almost hold my breath. But when I’m in the situation and think of possible reactions, the usual response that comes to mind for me is some version of, “because I’m not a woman” and that makes me happy and feels good. It continues to feel freeing and empowering because it gives my inner dialogue an opportunity to reiterate and feel more assured in my identity. I like that. Thank you, Spirit, for these moments. Thank you that I did forget I had written about this so that my mind was still consciously aware of thoughts and feeling so that I can trace the reassurance and sense of calm and belonging.
Something I haven’t talked about yet is that I bought some men’s pants. I’ve been wearing men’s sports shorts for a while – they fit and they are long enough for my emotional comfort. But pants seems like a whole different world. Well, hold on, I have been wearing men’s sports pants for a while. Costco had them on sale and they were the first men’s pants or shorts I tried. But they have a drawstring waist and felt like an easy entre into non-feminine lower-half clothing. Back to the pants in question! Good old Value Village. I love that place! When I lost a lot of weight and had no idea what size I was or what styles might look good, paying thrift store prices helped me explore, not to mention having a plethora of styles to choose from all in one place. Through that weight loss journey, I bought at least 2 new wardrobes there. As I began to explore men’s clothes for the top half of me, the same things drew me there: thrift store prices and lots of brands and styles. So, when I decided to step past the fear of trying men’s long pants, it felt like a good place to go again. On that trip, I looked for men’s as well as women’s pants. I took a guess at a men’s size and picked the ones I liked. I even found a pair of green corduroys. I love corduroy! I love green! And they have pockets! Like, real pockets, not the tiny things they put in women’s pants, or heaven forbid, the seam that looks like a pocket, but doesn’t actually open. I got them home and tried them on. I was amazed at how well they fit and how they made me feel! Not every pair fit, but I kept 3 pairs of the men’s (none of the women’s). Once I decided which ones to keep, I hung them up in the closet and haven’t looked at them since. Yes, it’s been hot, so I’m mostly wearing shorts these days, but there’s something emotional in them still being in the closet. (ha! they’re in the closet!). As I write this, I’m feeling a little fear when I think about getting them out again – a fear that those moments of trying them on were some kind of fluke anomaly; that if I get them out and put them on again, they won’t fit that well; that if I wear them in public, it will be obvious that they’re not really meant for me. There’s something of the too-good-to-be-true in it. When they’re still in the closet they both fit and don’t fit. But there’s also a sense of a line crossed. It’s the same inner questions as when I was looking at shirts: Am I really going to do this? Do I really get to do this? I have been such a straight-laced, follow the rules person for so long, these moments of pushing the boundaries of what’s allowed are momentous? significant? Who knew pants would hold so much significance!