Many of us, particularly those like me who have come late in life to recognise and then embrace the feminine within, seem to be so eager for our outer appearance to quickly reflect the woman we now recognise ourselves to be.
There are times when I wish I had a ‘magic wand’ so that my appearance would reflect what and how I feel. Or that the oestrogen and t-blocker would work at a speed that was faster than glacial. It feels so frustrating that a month or so in I can see no real change, though I sense my skin is different and I certainly feel happier in myself.
But maybe the slow, slow pace is not there solely to frustrate us, but has a positive outcome. The changes I want, I know about. I’ve had time to think about them, to consider them. Internally I’ve debated, discussed, reflected on what I am doing and what outcome I want. I am ready for my body to change to reflect on the outside what I feel, have felt for some time on the inside. But my wife, her mother, our friends; they haven’t been part of that discussion (at least not to the intensity that I have) for much of it has been internal and private.
Sure some of our friends have seen me when I cross-dressed. They saw the instant transformation of this person, with a wig, a dress and heels into….what? What they saw was a ‘fake’ Michele, with a fake bust, ‘heavy’ make-up, dressed in ‘women’s clothes (though mainly not the clothes that most women wear most of the time).
I don’t cross-dress any more. Sure, sometimes for a special occasion, I’ll put on a dress or blouse that needs a bust and I’ll fake it. But day to day, they’ll see me in jeans (or occasionally a skirt) and jumper (it is winter), flat shoes or ankle boots. They don’t see the lacy panties that are now my choice in underwear. They don’t see me wearing a bra, I’ve no bust and thus no need for one. I don’t want to fake anything. In time, as a bust develops, I can imagine augmenting it. That’s OK, cis women do so sometimes. My hope is that a year from now it can be ‘for real’.
So although for me time is seeming to ‘stand still’, for my family and friends the purpose is surely to allow these changes to unfold to them in a way that’s almost unnoticeable, so that at some future time there is this woman in front of them, that they have seen transition slowly, imperceptibly, before their eyes and with whom they are most comfortable.
I know there is plenty for me to be getting on with. I need to learn make-up skills and what products work for me. I need to work on my voice, though starting with a deep bass, this feels pretty impossible. I need to research changing my name and even deciding which name to use – I know I will go with Antonia Michele which ‘simply’ feminises my given names, but whether Toni (short for Antonia is the one I’ll choose for the name I want folk to use, or Michele (which signifies more of a change and a new beginning) I haven’t yet decided. And of course I need to decide my time-scale. I am hoping that there will be enough change in my appearance to support going full time female (that is with name and document change) before the start of 2017. But, of course, there are the things I just can’t hurry, my hair will grow at it’s own pace and I have to be content with that.
And what I can do is to use this blog to refine and air my thoughts.
Thank you for reading.