I had been watching a Sister who joined my Local Crossdresser Support Group (LCSG) nearly a year after I had joined. I have admired her courage and being brave and open telling her stories going out on her own with her wife. She is obvious if you interact with her that she is a crossdresser. She has fun with it, expresses herself and educates people one by one. I personally had been very quiet and discreet trying to pass as a women around every corner and by the way very successfully. I have gotten to the point of passing at will, however passing is again hiding me, it is going back into hiding like I was when I was just Manly. After hearing her stories of being up front helped me feel braver to be me! I am Meili and I cannot change it, as well I cannot change the world but I can help change people one by one. Meili is OUT! In this past year, Meili introduced herself to her two daughters, her son, mother, three brothers and their wives. Meili came out to her ex-wife of 22 years because we felt she had a right to know.
For the past eight years, every Friday evening or Saturday afternoon, Manly went to the same Mexican restaurant. It is almost exactly like Cheers, if you remember the sitcom, and I am one of the charters. Over the past several months, I came out to most of my Cheers buddies allowing many of them to meet Meili. I have also told most of the staff who are like family to me. This leads up to the moment, I recently threw a grenade!
I went to the restaurant the first time as Meili. It was near closing time when I knew most patrons would be gone, especially those who knew me. This was not easy. Some did not recognize me, some did, some were laughing, and others were intrigued. When I was exposed those that did know who I was, maybe I initially laughed. Several younger men were questioning my sexual orientation; they came at me at all angles. When the fragrance of the perfume wears off everything came back to normal. By this time, many employees were standing around or sitting next to me, asking a lot of questions which I answered freely. It was lovely.
When Meili walked into the restaurant the second time, it was much earlier in the day. No one immediately recognized who I was as I sat down. Many who knew Manly did not catch on until the manager who always takes care of me asked what I would like to drink and eat. My Cheers friends could see I was somewhat nervous, and told me not worry and just to be me because they had my back. Quietly, a friend put male patron at ease who was questioning him about me. Another sitting next to me asked if I had a brother. I said, yes I do, why. That patron said I looked almost just like another patron he knew — well little did he know, it was me.
Meili recently visited the restaurant with my two beautiful daughters. Again someone with whom I talk to often knew there was something peculiar, but could not connect the dots. He was told later after I left that I was Manly, who is now Meili. I now go there as Meili more and more often. The staff has even mentioned that they like me visiting as Meili more so than when I did so as Manly.
Being able to be you comes down to you,the relationships you have with family, people in your community, and the support you gain from those relationships. Today I enjoy all of that and so much more. I have my family and their love. I have my lady friends who help with dressing and makeup and go shopping with me. And I have the support of the strongest of men who definitely have my back. When Meili introduced herself to everyone at Cheers in her own way, they all managed to accept Meili in their own way. I am sure this is not the end, but rather a process which will just keep moving forward.
In the end, it came down to me being brave enough to accept me for being me. I decided not to live in fear. I have amazing experiences just being me which help others in accepting who we are, and in understanding more about the community of which I am a part. I am Meili, I am free, and I am OUT!