In continuing from the last article…
So, the next step in coming out was to tell a female friend who was just that. She was single, and we were kindred spirits who had been friends for many decades. She was okay with knowing but didn’t really want to see me dressed, although occasionally when she came to my home, I dressed.
I was more comfortable in myself and in being able to go out more, even alone. Always wondering if I would get spotted or found out in another way. About twelve years ago, I attended a fancy dress party, which was a wild west theme, hosted by a colleague from work. After a bit of banter about what we would wear, I decided to dress as a showgirl. Naturally choosing a nice outfit and doing the makeup and hair to accompany it. I arrived at the door and a male colleague, whom I knew well, opened the door and didn’t recognize me, only stating that the hostess was in the kitchen before wandering off.
Standing in a crowded room, no one realised. I walked towards my friend; As I got close, she looked at me, but it wasn’t until I spoke that it clicked. She was stunned, and so was everyone else. It was a great night, and I had compliments from all over the place. After, I wondered if the image was too good, giving the game away, so I waited for the comments at work. There were only ones about how good I looked and what a great party it had been. Did they even think?
So, the next person to tell was the friend and hostess. We got on great at work and met up with friends. I invited her for a coffee at a garden centre but had to think about how best to do it. It was going to be full-on and dressed. She was waiting at the front, and I walked up to her and said hello. I was dressed less flamboyantly than at the party, but I had to say hello before she recognised me. Her reaction was one of amazement, but after a long chat, she was fully accepting. This led to her telling a few more colleagues and it couldn’t have gone better. I have done the fully dressed approach a few times now, and it worked out just fine.
The last and perhaps most difficult was a group of male friends I have known for over forty years. A few of the wives knew, but we had held back until after my retirement, where I am now pretty much full-time, living and working. It may seem odd, but telling women always seems easier than men. I spoke to the wives that knew and one said that her partner would not accept it at all and said not to. I understood why because I knew him very well; the others were fine, and two couples knew nothing. I did this with a group text and waited. The responses were interesting but overall accepting. One friend was not comfortable but didn’t shun me, others were so full of praise for being so “brave.” It was touching. At our last meet-up, where we all got together, Angela went, and the atmosphere was positive. Of course, we talked about the old days, but it couldn’t have gone better.
So, there you go; a catalogue of how to tell, which started three decades ago! The main thing to point out is that this is my experience and, as they say, other experiences are available. Yes, it took nerve to do it and you will never know how it pans out. What would have happened if my mother completely shunned me, or could I have done it earlier? My confidence just grew, there was an expectation of some kickbacks, but being sure of myself, and having been through all the questioning, I knew it was the right path and to accept that which came. In most cases, I had sounded the person out, what they thought, how they were with me, before telling. Turning up dressed was a big one, but again I knew them well or hoped I did and got it right. However, expect the unexpected though. A girl I had known for decades decided that she would have no part in my dressing and cut me out of her life. I am upset but understand. This happens, and there are those that I haven’t told at all. I wonder if this is an option as it is to do with a hobby that I still do occasionally in male mode. It’s the only remnant of my old life that I can’t give up but can balance it well. Will I finally tell, or do I really need to?
At this time, I am completely out and live and work as my true being. I have acquaintances I meet up with who have only seen Angela and if they know or don’t, I am part of the group having no need to explain or tell; I am one of the girls now.
I hope this is a help to those who have that itch to know if coming out is a wrong move. I can only offer my experience as an example of how it can be done.
More Articles by Angela Booth
- Telling can be Telling… (Part 1)
- Those nearly caught moments at the start of the journey…
- The Perfect Life?
- It’s been how long?