It isn’t always lace and silk that takes the sting of my gender dysphoria away. Don’t get me wrong. I love them when I want to feel a little more sexy in the bedroom. But honestly pre-op most of my sexy looking outfits, tend to pinch and rub the wrong way and more often than not, I feel more the heat of friction rather than the heat of passion.
But now that I have started moving my daily clothing choices more towards the feminine side of the fence, I have really embraced the joy of cute cotton panties and colorful knee socks.
I also have to admit, that I have enjoyed the raised eyebrows of some of my co-workers who happen to notice my decidedly not male sock choices, because I feel it is building towards the full clothing transition that I know will occur in the not too distant future. And I’ve been waiting, actually really wondering, if anyone will get up the courage to ask me about them. So far no one has said a word. If they do, will I will get the chance to be bold, and identify myself? I feel fortunate to live in a part of the country and work for a company that is in general more tolerant of transgender people, but there really isn’t a blueprint for how to take the leap off this cliff, and I consider this my way of dipping my toes in.
I mention all of this because I recently had one of those empowerment moments and what turned out to be a really sweet personal memory as well, but not at work as I expected, instead it happened on vacation.
I’m here in Orlando for a little while, and the city is very much trying to find its bearings after the series of senseless murder of a pop star, the hateful tragic massacre attack on our community, and the accidental death of a small child near the Magic Kingdom. Everywhere you look there are signs of hope for a united community recovery.
Which brings me to a sweet Disney cast member named Mabel, who had to be in her early to mid 60’s and also happened to be working in one of the theme park clothing shops where I found two pairs of adorable knee socks.
One pair of beautiful rainbow color, is adorned with images of my beloved princesses in their finest gowns, and yes the little girl in me squealed with delight when I found them. Unfortunately I also think the audible more male noise that actually emanated from me, might have upset a little old man nearby as well. (oh well…what can you do?)
The other pair was a whimsical pair of black polka dotted Minnie Mouse Socks complete with adorable little red bows on the back. (I did manage to suck in my expression of delight when I found them for fear of off-putting anyone else.)
Anyway several minutes of shopping later, I walked myself up to the counter and put my two new pairs of leg apparel on the cashier counter. Mabel, who was working alone at the time, cheerfully picked up the items and as she was scanning them in asked if they were for my wife or daughter.
And in that moment it would have been so easy to just blurt out casually they were for my wife, but I remembered what my therapist has been telling me about small bold steps, and I listened to that inner little girl longing to claim the treasures she had found as her own, and said “Actually, they are for me and the woman I am becoming. I’m transgender.”
Carefully studying her face which momentarily seemed to lose the bright smile, and expecting the worst, I was completely taken aback as she, completed the sale, looked into my eyes and said, “I hope the woman you hope to become, is as beautiful and brave as the one I already see.” And she continued, “My niece used to be my nephew, she’s so much happier now.”
Finally still somewhat dazed, but delightfully surprised, I headed towards the exit, bag in hand, and she quietly added, “Have a magical day princess.”
And you know what? In a small and very personal way. It was