Take me for example; if I would ever go to a crossdressers’ event, I would worry about not being able to fit in and feeling like an outcast. So, there’s a feeling that I would get shunned and ignored. That might not be true, but that is my fear and it’s this fear that I want to talk about today.
I don’t attempt to do a female impersonation or try to pass as a woman. I’m happy being me. For as long as I could remember, I’ve worn women’s clothing in some fashion or another. Plus, I always wear a big giant bushy beard and have a deep voice like Barry White.
I crossdress with a manly-look or mix with both genders of clothing together. I heard that look is called androgynous or a gender-bender. But to me that is just me being me and has always been me. I don’t need a label to define me; I know who I am. I am a human and that all that matters, or at least it should.
So why do I have these fears, when I know I am comfortable in who I am. It could be that I’m not as comfortable as I thought I was. Maybe I am overthinking this whole thing. You’d think I would know myself better than this. If you asked me why I have this fear, I couldn’t give you a straight answer. I would make something up or completely avoid it like a bad politician.
So how does one get over this fear? I must first learn to embrace it. Just as I did when I came to terms with my crossdressing.
I ask myself what is fear? Fear is a form of anxiety. The anxiety comes from avoidance and avoidance tends to generalize over time. If I avoid the elevator at work I will soon begin to avoid all elevators, and then all buildings that house elevators, etcetera. Soon enough, I will be living in a prison of avoidance. Do I really want to live that way?
Moreover, when you and I avoid something that scares us we tend to experience a sense of failure. Every time we avoid the feared object or situation our anxiety gains strength and we accumulate another experience of failure and another piece of evidence attesting to our weakness. Finally, avoidance eliminates practice. Without practice it’s difficult to gain mastery. Without mastery our confidence is less likely to increase.
So, avoiding anxiety only maintains and magnifies it. To get rid of our anxiety we should instead capitalize on it. In other words, it entails that we should face our fears or our demons.
Exposure to our fear also seems counterintuitive, just as many truths are counterintuitive (think about the fact that we’re residing on a ball floating in infinite space). Exposure scares people, but scary things are not necessarily dangerous (think roller coasters, horror films). Exposure is scary primarily because most people (lacking an understanding of the repeating principle) expect their fear to escalate indefinitely in the presence of a feared object or situation. In my case, attending a CD event. But nothing rises indefinitely. And fear, if I face it, will soon begin to subside as I deal with and then move past it.
So, my biggest fear is fear itself. I believe that someone famous said that.
I’m betting there are a few others out there with the same fears as me. Writing this is my first step to overcoming my fear, and soon I will be at a CD event and be comfortable being there without the fear or worries of rejection. That’s when I’ll know that I have come full circle and achieved peace within myself, 100%.
All it takes is one foot in front of the other, gets you though the door…
Editor’s note: (The cover photo is not the author’s but a stock photo)