From seemingly out of nowhere, at age 64, I began constantly thinking about whether or not I was transgender. I started to explore dressing as a woman. The questions built; why is this happening? Is something wrong with me?
After some nervous introspection, it became clear that this had been percolating for a long time. I have never really been satisfied with myself. I don’t like the way I look, I often feel inadequate, and I have never felt manly. I realized that many of the things I didn’t like about myself were stereotypical male behaviors and attitudes. I wanted to be more empathetic with others, more socially adept, and basically, just a better person.
I don’t hate my male body, and I still enjoy several male activities. I started a very active fitness routine ten years ago for health reasons. I’m an avid triathlete. For various reasons, I will continue to pursue this passion as a male. I am married to the most wonderful person I know, and we just celebrated our 40th anniversary. I’m also a proud father of three children.
After having my crisis of identity, I began to research the what, why, and how about crossdressing and transgender tendencies. After taking a variety of on-line gender identity tests, the results suggested that I might be more female than male. I chose my female name after creating a list of names and saying them out loud while looking in a mirror. When I said Miranda, I saw the most beautiful smile looking back at me.
I joined this community as an initial step in my personal acceptance process, since I had no clue where to begin. I created a profile to share this new side of me with others who are similar in their feelings. I dressed fully for the first time, including doing my own makeup and wearing a wig. I shared pictures of my efforts and used one as my profile picture. When I dressed, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of serenity and of self-worth. It was absolutely wonderful! Being fully dressed was so much more rewarding than under dressing or partial dressing; I want to be that woman!
I have questions on how to build a new wardrobe, what to buy, and the best way to do it economically as possible. Where do I keep it? I need to learn how to master the magic of makeup, including the ways to deal with my aging body. I now plan for opportunities to dress and have to accept when I can’t. Miranda wants to show herself to the world; I want to share this part of me with some girlfriends.
I am both excited and frightened with my exploration. Will I cause heartache to the ones I love most? Will I lose family and friends? Will I finally accept and love myself? Will I come out to my loved ones? Will I transition and how far will that go?
I decided to have a professional makeover and photo shoot as a learning experience. I was petrified to schedule the makeover. When I called and booked my appointment, giving them my credit card information, I spoke Miranda’s name for the first time to another person.
After that, I was comfortable with the idea, even when it dawned on me that I would be transformed and photographed by three strangers. I must admit, the experience was far beyond my wildest dreams. It was pure heaven for me. They had;
Dozens of dresses in my size to accentuate and give me a female look,
Dozens of wigs to bring out my inner woman,
Lots of shoes to experiment in and find what fit me best. I learned which heel styles were comfortable for me to walk in and project the woman I wanted to be.
And most importantly, they had a talented makeup artist who helped bring out my inner-beauty.
Whatever nerves I felt at first went away as the makeup artist truly enjoyed transforming me and putting me at ease. I’d never worn heels before, so they spent some time coaching me on how to walk. When I changed into my first outfit, I saw myself in the mirror and thought, “That girl is pretty.” She looks nothing like me.
The best part of the day was how Miranda chatted girl-talk with the staff and it came so easy and natural. As we browsed through the photos of the shoot, it dawned on me. In reality, Miranda looked every bit like me, because she is me. I included my favorite pose for the picture with this article. This is the woman within me.
I choose to confront this uncertainty about my identity. I don’t know where it will lead, but this is my time to be who I am—I am Miranda.