If there is one question that is seriously prevalent to my being, it is this: “How do you know?” I’ve asked that question enough times to fill my car with silver dollars. If they made a crossdresser anthem, that would be its title. Although it isn’t just about crossdressing, as it pertains to being transgender as well as any deviation from what they have spelled out as “Normal Behavior.” The “they” in this case are society, politics, religion, culture, history… you get the point.
I’m a mess inside as I struggle to come to any satisfactory explanation as to what I am and what I should be. I am neither male nor female. Ask me today and I might tell you that I’m comfortable being a CD, tomorrow, I may cry as I long to shed the masculine shell completely and become the woman I am, and the day after that… who knows. So again, “How do you know?”
I could rattle off all the things that I do know and try to equate that to some semblance of a dignified answer, but I’m only kidding myself. I don’t know and I wish that someone could give me an answer that is black and white that would help me to know. They can’t because if there were distinctive signposts for us to navigate, we’d all be holding hands and singing happy songs as we walk a similar path and then step off at our designated stop.
If I haven’t lost you, then let me try to rationalize my thoughts. I’m in constant turmoil trying to figure out “How do I know if I’m transgender… more precisely, I’m wanting to know what are all the feelings that make someone feel they are born in the wrong body and should be a female and must go through the process to rectify the mistake, and… I don’t feel that way. So does that make me, what exactly? Here’s the thing; if you gave me the magic pill, I’d take it in a heartbeat (that’s today and not me from 10 or 20 years ago.) My life is settled, and I can face all the obstacles that would come with a complete change. So, if I could take the pill, then why can’t I start the process on my own? “How do you know?”
I used to ask, “How do you know if I’m a crossdresser or just someone who has a kinky fetish for high heels and lingerie? That answer only came after years of trial and tribulations stemming from self-doubt, irritability, and failed relationships. It morphed into, “How do I know if I am more than a crossdresser and possibly transgender?” Does claiming oneself to be transgender suddenly mean they have to pursue hormones and sex reassignment surgery? Will I lose my club card in the CD world and not be fully accepted into the transgender sorority until I start some recognizable process that exemplifies that I am serious about becoming a woman? “HOW DO YOU KNOW?”
I’ve edited hundreds of articles that have asked and attempted to answer that very question, both on CDH and TGH. The multiple truths shared by everyone have only made that question more perplexing. There are some who indeed, KNOW. They know with every fiber of their being, and I applaud them and envy them. I’m drifting on the vast ocean searching for the mythical kingdom where I am going to be accepted for who I am supposed to be. It will likely be that I will die with that question unanswered. And maybe that is ok and in its own way the answer that I’ve been searching for. “How do you know?” could easily be reshaped to state, “Why do I have to know?” My happiness today, and long into the future isn’t going to be answered by a collection of points that detail a progression from here to there. My line is my line and I only need to accept what I am willing to, nothing more.
How do I know if I’m transgender? I don’t, but I think that I am, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t “Check” all the boxes. It shouldn’t take away from this wonderful experience, one that lets me enjoy being a complete crossdresser. I love femininity and there is nothing wrong with my appreciation of it. I’m single so I’m hurting no one—this is different for those in relationships. Not that I wouldn’t love to be in a relationship with an accepting individual. If it happens, great! I’m not holding my breath. I don’t know, so I’ll keep taking one high heel step in front of the other as I sashay along the path to… wherever I eventually land. My guess is that I will never dock my boat at the magical kingdom. It’s possible that I might even drift further away from it. How do I know? Who cares?
It’s time for me to be content in understanding that I won’t find answers to my questions in the stories of others, but what I will find are similarities that have importance to me. If I were to undergo some of the procedures, I can find examples of what to expect. That is essential information to have.
Each of us, in our personal way, asks the same question, “How do you know?” I think we feel the need to garner reassurances, an “It’s okay to feel that way,” even the recognition from our fellow members that our posted picture shows our inner female. The line between being transgender and just a crossdresser is as blurry as a 1960s television station without rabbit ears. (Sorry, couldn’t resist throwing some “old” humor out there.) That is why many of us will never find that particular answer. And… that is perfectly fine because the only answer that you need is the one that pertains to you finding your balance in life and the means to navigate it with happiness and compassion.
If there was one thing that I wish I could have told my younger self, it would be this, “Buy the shoes! Wear the dress! Treat yourself and others with respect and love everyone for who they are and not what they should be according to what society dictates.” Okay, that was much more than one thing. You get my point. I spent too much time hating myself and it took a toll on those around me. Today, I live by being as compassionate as I can. I have lots of years to still make up for, but at least I now like the person (whether in a dress or not) I’ve become and am still becoming.
May your life be enriched by the duplicity of treading the line between male and female, it is most assuredly a blessing and not a curse…
Until next time…