Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life (Part 3: The Weirdness)

Big news!  I had my first counseling session yesterday to begin working toward my full time transition… so excited!!!!  (Too many exclamation points?) J  I will share with you about my visit soon, but I want to discuss the last little twist from the party before I forget it.  What I will share now is that I absolutely love Andrea (my counselor)!  I think this will be a very good thing.

Before I begin, let me reiterate that I don’t feel good about this – a little ashamed, in fact.  I’m discussing it, because I feel it is probably an important element in my transition.  What I experienced, I know, is not entirely unique.  I have read numerous accounts from other transgendered women about similar experiences.  I don’t know if that makes it any better, but it is nice to know I’m not the only one.

We had a late addition to the guest list for last Saturday.  One of Jamie’s friends, who is a cross-dresser (they met in a TG support meeting on line) confirmed with her on Saturday that he would be attending.  He didn’t announce his full intention, but given that he asked if it was okay for him to come early, we presumed he planned to “dress” for the party.  I was very glad that he was coming and very happy for him.  The only thing that concerned me then was that his presence might interfere with my preparations.  I, after all, had a whole slew of food and beverages to get set up on top of getting myself ready.  Jamie promised to help keep that from being a problem, and we were both very excited to have another guest on our guest list.

Party preparations went smoothly, and by the time our guest arrived (about 45 minutes early), I was completely ready with the exception of the things I was intentionally putting off until the last minute – starting the chocolate fountain, for example.  When he came walking in carrying a suitcase and other bags, I had a sinking feeling.  He announced that he didn’t know what to wear, so he brought several “options,” and my first thought was “crap, he’s going to want to put on a fashion show.”  I don’t know if my unease was noticeable (probably), but I quickly excused myself, explaining that I still had work to do in the kitchen; and I left him in Jamie’s care.  I did not fully escape the transformation, as he just had to show us pictures of the outfits he was “considering.”  At this point, I became downright uncomfortable. 

Eventually Jamie joined me in the living room where we sat down to relax for a few minutes before the rest of our guests arrived.  While we were waiting for our “special guest” to get ready, Jamie and I discussed a group that our guest had joined and had been telling her about.  Apparently, they get dressed up, go out to dinner, and then go to a shopping mall where certain stores stay open late to cater to them privately.  He mentioned it to her (and later to us both) thinking that it would be something I should do.  When Jamie floated the idea of our joining in sometime, it hit me.  My one thought was “why would I want to sneak into a mall after hours with a bunch of men who want to try on women’s clothing?  I buy my clothes during normal business hours.”

It struck me that while I know I am; I do not think of myself as “trans.”  When I’m thinking about myself, what I like to do, and/or who I want to socialize with, I am thinking of myself as a woman: no descriptors, no footnotes.  About this time our guest stepped into the living room for the “big reveal.”  He was obviously nervous, obviously uncomfortable, and obviously a man in a dress (with questionable makeup).  It completely freaked me out.  Then when our party guests began to arrive, I became almost embarrassed.  It felt for all the world like we were having a perfectly normal party with friends and that everything was as it should be… except for the cross-dresser we had inadvertently forced on our friends. 

For the most part I was able to ignore the discomfort and enjoy myself, but on at least a couple occasions that was impossible.  While my desire was to mingle with friends, chat, and enjoy the show (did I mention it was a “Rocky Horror” party?), our guest seemed to want to find reasons to be near me – in pictures, while dancing the time warp, etc.  On one occasion, he felt the need to show me a “slideshow” of photographs of him dressed that he carried on his phone.  I half-looked on as he rattled on about the wheres and when’s, until I could find an excuse to get away.  When he positioned himself next to me for the group photo, I moved to a stool in front of the group and encouraged my wife into a position that was also slightly separated (I later cropped him out of the photo).  When toward the end of the evening, he disappeared (after telling a couple of my friends that he had a different outfit he wanted to show them), reappearing several minutes later in a different dress and wig, it was almost more than I could bear.

I want to be able to be supportive, and I want to encourage people with gender issues, and I feel badly that I experienced so many negative emotions in that situation; but it is very plain that I do not want to hang out with cross-dressers.  The reality is that it was very likely his presence that helped establish me as normal… at the very least his presence made me look that much hotter (sorry, that’s really catty… but I am Kat-girl, after all!).  I just could not see it that way.  I am ready for prime time.  I am prepared to live in normal society.  I am every day growing more comfortable living out loud.  I have an amazing group of friends and even some family, who love, accept, and support me.  But I am not ready to be a mentor or role model; and I am certainly not ready to sacrifice my femininity to make room for other people’s experiments.

I wish I were more open to embracing others who are suffering.  Maybe someday I can be there, but not right now.  I hope that doesn’t make me a terrible person.  Please believe that I support my trans-sisters, but it seems – for now at least – I may need to support them from afar.

I know this likely comes across as somewhat mean-spirited, and I apologize for these feelings.  Please know that my reaction was entirely involuntarily, and it is something that I will work very hard to overcome.

Until next time, my pretties,
Much love,


  1. Though I was quite embarrassed as well, I don't regret having him at our party. I think we all killed several birds with one stone by having a "cross-dresser" at our party; it truly differentiated you as a woman versus a man dressing in womans clothes, it diverted any possible awkwardness away from you and onto him, it allowed you to define your comfort level early on in this transition which possibly saved you from making other cross gendered friends that may otherwise be difficult to shake off, and I was surprised to see our other party guests curiously gravitating to HIM with trans questions (and not YOU) which only tells me that they too think of you as WOMAN and not TRANS.

  2. I, for one, think it's important to share your feelings truthfully here. Yeah, maybe not your proudest moment, but I would've felt similarly. I feel this way in my support group meetings sometimes, especially if we have a guest speaker. I try not to let my discomfort show, but I am embarrassed for me and them. Yet, everyone has to get their bearings somehow, and being with people works lots better than being alone. I think we've all been at that awkward stage at some point.

    You are not required to take this one on as a member of the sisterhood. Don't feel badly about your reaction, but it might be something to discuss with Andrea at some point.


All comments are welcome. Amusing and entertaining comments are appreciated. Informative and educational comments are encouraged.

Kind and respectful comments are expected.