Our paths converge here, but they did not begin here.
Each of us has taken a different path to reach the place we are now. Every journey is different. We converge at the points where our stories are similar, but not one of us here has traveled the same road as another. It just isn’t possible.
The realization that strikes for many is the realization that this is not the end of the journey. That point is never reached, for there is always a road ahead. There are an infinite number of struggles past, present, and future. If you reject the struggle or denounce it, then it owns you. You have to own it and become its master.
Those who have gathered here together on this website have all struggled with their identity. We have struggled to come to terms with who we are and that we are different from what the mainstream generally expects from us. The old saying about toughening up and “be a man” is a curse that haunts many here. And some here are still haunted by expectations, realities, and the nature of understanding who they truly are as a human being. For some, revealing their identity as a crossdresser or transgendered person to family and loved ones is a huge step on the road to self-realization. For some, the quest to transition into what they know is their true female physical form is a giant leap forward.
Every quest is different. Every journey differs in some way and some journeys are unlike what is expected. We find pieces of ourselves along the way and sometimes those pieces don’t fit what we thought we’d find when we uncovered ourselves from the sheet thrown over us by society. We want to be who we are. We have a right to be who we are. We have a right to go on a journey of self-discovery.
So many came to this website to share themselves, to find encouragement to come out, and to find the support needed to make decisions about who they are. Some struggles are unique. I am a very part time crossdresser who likes dressing like a pirate and my life’s struggles are much bigger than that. Captain Sally is a small part of who I am. What brought me here was the ability to be this part of me somewhere that I felt safe and comfortable.
Gender issues are not always physical. Sometimes they are emotional. Like the ancient “stand up and BE A MAN” strikes like a spear through many of our hearts, for some the struggle to “be a man” goes deeper than the physical. A man doesn’t cry. A man doesn’t express emotions openly. A man is tough and strong and fights bears. All that ancient rubbish stays with us and becomes part of us. And to be who we are challenges that.
And it should be challenged. One doesn’t embrace the feminine because one thinks it would be “cool.” One does it because we are all a combination of masculine and feminine elements. And those elements vary in all people, regardless of their physical sex.
Who you are is who you are, but there is more to discover. If you treat life like an ongoing journey without a set destination, it all becomes clearer. There are mile markers, to be sure, and many here are striving towards them or have reached them. Going out dressed for the first time is a huge mile marker for many. Transitioning is a major milestone for some. Just being able to speak about this side of you is, for some, bigger than either of those is for others. Each step in the journey has a different impact on different people. For some just signing on here is a gargantuan step, and coming into chat and saying “My name is…” can be a death-defying leap. For others it is easy. The journey is different for each of us.
To feel is to be alive. To know yourself is a worthy quest. I have always been emotionally more female than male, and in many ways I pursued crossdressing as a way to experience those emotions more clearly. At first I was afraid, but I am no longer.
I love deeply. I feel things deeply. I am not afraid to express myself.
It would be a lie to say this was always true.