I was reading about the Christmas season and was suddenly struck with the thought that I needed to write this article. Many of us, regardless of our views on religion enjoy the holiday season as a time to celebrate the giving nature of humanity. And as I thought about all the things I am thankful for, I realized I wanted to thank the person whose actions had a profound impact on how I saw myself. No-I’m not talking about my relatives-who I am certainly thankful for in that they largely accept me, nor my friends in “real life” –many of whom are learning more about Cyn. Not even my friends here at CDH and TGH-precious though each and every one of you is.
The person, whose actions and vision have made the largest impact on my growth as a member of the CD/TG community, and in moving forward on my journey of exploration, is none other than the founder of these glorious websites Crossdresser Heaven and Transgender Heaven. They began as a blog site, narrating Vanessa’s own journey as she started out as CD and through her realization that transitioning was her path in life. The sites provided advice, encouragement, and inspiration to thousands of folks who, like me and I expect like most of you as well, had previously felt isolated and alone in our feelings. Yes-society has become more accepting and understanding, though it has a long way yet to go, but the REASON for that change in societal attitudes is because of the actions of people like Vanessa, who illustrated that we are people of dignity and worth. We don’t demand SPECIAL treatment; we simply ask for the basic respect that our humanity deserves as we express the side of us that has remained hidden for so long out of fear or ridicule and rejection.
I know when I first joined the Crossdresser Heaven site back in August of 2015 I was like an “infant” in this aspect of my life. I was terrified of the reaction of the world if I dared to show this part of me; the side I had locked away behind my bedroom door for decades. As I began to interact with Vanessa and the other early pioneers of CDH, such as Codille, Claudia, and Jane and later on with others, I was able to realize I was only hurting myself by hiding who I was. And that maybe-just maybe-I could escape the self-imposed prison cell I chose to live in. Slowly at first, but with increasing speed, I opened the door and windows and began to let the world see who I really was. It was not without its challenges or moments of sheer terror, but the more I ventured out, the more comfortable I became-to the point of where I’ve now driven and flown all over the country in full Cyn mode.
And let us not forget our SO members. We sometimes don’t fully realize that our journeys are not just our own but are shared with our partners. They have many of the same hopes, fears, and worries that we ourselves do about how the world will treat those of us in the community as well as the treatment of our family members. That is another significant purpose of the site; to educate our loved ones about this community and to support them as they deal with things that may have come as a huge shock to them; many of us hid this side of ourselves from our spouses for fear of losing them. Not every relationship can survive, but many can and do, and even if they don’t, at least it can hopefully help them to avoid becoming vitriolic and hateful.
I know each of our journeys is different- not everyone will transition; not everyone will go out and about-whether due to individual circumstances or because it’s not something they need or desire to do. No matter where each individual journey leads, the love and encouragement we get from these sister sites is vital in giving us the strength to overcome our fears and to let the world see the wonderful people we truly are. And for that, we have Vanessa Law, the founder of these sites to thank. She could have finished her transition and gone on to live a quiet life enjoying her family, but she knew how difficult the journey was…especially for those, who like herself, did not have much support from those in her life. So after a couple years of dormancy, she rededicated and reopened the site to be a place for the entire community to find a safe place to explore themselves and continue on their journey to become the authentic people they are. To me: this IS HOME! I hope that each and every one of you feels that way, too. And if you DO, then I encourage you to reply in the comments with stories of how this site has helped YOU in your journey, and I hope that you will share a thank you to Vanessa for the gift she has given us, and continues to give us, as these sites continue being the best support sites in the world for the CD/TG community. Thanks Vanessa! We love you!