I am far from completely open. Only my wife and one friend know “both” of me. And my friend only knows of this, has and will never actually see it. Being perfectly candid, if you met me (the real me, the male me), you would have zero suspicion that I am a CD/TG. None. Just being honest. Within about 24 hours I grow enough of a beard to dispel any probable suspicion quickly and all of the changes I have made to myself are easily explainable and can be attributed to my training and running. Those that are not as educated as we are about our fellow CDers, would never put two and two together. I have many male friends, most life long friends. I can count at least eight people that I frequently interact with that I have known since high school and a few date back even further. On the day I wrote this post (quite some time back), I spent a few hours with one such friend (he was laid up with an injury) that I have known since I was in the sixth grade. That evening I attended a concert with another friend, known since high school. We share a passion for music and attend many concerts together. My partner in my current business enterprise and I have known each other since the fifth grade.
Relationships are complicated, layered. Would these friends accept Kandi? I really don’t know, but it’s simply not worth the risk. The person they know as their friend was the same person who previously struggled and suppressed this desire to present as a woman. I am who I have been for essentially my entire life, just happier. My bigger fear is that if they were to discover Kandi is not that they would reject her, it’s that the nature of our relationships would change. It would be different. But who really knows? Plus, if I cannot really understand it myself, how can I explain it to someone else. Yes, others can wrap their head around it, but friends know you, they have preconceived images of you that would color their views.
As I continue to move forward, to grow as a woman, I continue to evolve, reassessing my previous beliefs. I simply don’t see the upside benefit vs. the downside risk by opening myself up to everyone who knew me when. It’s not like I am transitioning, I am still this bifurcated person, it’s just that the female side is now more developed, allowed to bloom. I am a totally flawed and greatly imperfect person. But I am a happy person, one who understands better who she really is.
They should have warned me that life would not be easy way back when. In parenting our children, I did make a point of letting them know growing up isn’t necessarily all that much fun. Going to work every day, bills to pay, responsibilities. Yet they insisted on growing up.
This essay could have been written anytime in my seven plus year journey as Kandi and nothing has really changed. I have never wavered on who I would like to tell about all of this. I expect to take Kandi to my grave as it relates to family and friends. That may or may not happen, I may change my mind at some point in time, but right now that is the plan. It’s not that I don’t want to tell people, but I would be uncomfortable being dressed around those that know me otherwise. But things do change…..
Oooooh, what an interesting post and one that I have pondered recently myself. In fact immediately after my September makeover, I met 7 friends who I’ve known for around 50 years since we were at school. A few years ago, news came out that one of our former teachers has transitioned and, in addition, the brother of one of the guys there has also done so and the subject came up briefly in conversation that evening. While it was being discussed, I couldn’t help thinking ‘if only you all knew what I’ve been doing today’ and, as you say, what would have been the benefit of telling them?
If I did choose to spill the beans, I suspect the initial reaction would be disbelief followed by the rather predictable mickey taking and comments on my ‘attractiveness’ (or otherwise!) if I showed a photo (with at least one of them almost certainly encouraging me to make the change permanent as I’m much better looking as a female!). But I also think I would be given the opportunity to explain and would ultimately be accepted as I’m sure you would be, given the amazing experiences you have and report here. Pure conjecture, though, as it’s not going to happen!
As I have said before, and I am sure I am not the first one to say this, this stuff is layered, it is complicated and it is never easy. But it certainly is joyful and it absolutely is me. Love you dear!!
a boss I once had outlined 2 decision making criteria–1=sometimes the best decision is no decision and 2=as when you buy a hot dog and try to dispense some mustard-was the squirt worth the squeeze? In other word the downside of your action may not be worth it
I may have to use that one!!
From my own experience of coming out, there is no question the reaction one gets are all over the place
My experience also has some difficult times when most of my immediate family just didn’t understand and my son and his wife all in all rejected me and for some time would not speak to me
Thankfully I’m now able to see my son and grandchildren, but as far as they are concerned I’m back in the closet
What I do away from them just isn’t there business so I respect how they feel about my gender identity and I’m just dad and pop as my grandkids call me.
We all must choose how we come out and who needs to know but it is a difficult thing that nobody who’s gone through it will ever understand
Kandi and all you other ladies you have my respect for what you do and how you choose to do the things you do
I love you all and pray God to bless you
Your experiences help others here and I love you for sharing them!
Very interesting. I guess I fall in the same category. No one knows except my wife and a few other TGs that know both of me. I have told several others and they don’t believe me, they haven’t seen me dressed. I guess many of us lead this two sided life, which I don’t mind. I have run into people on outings that I know and they have looked at me and continued on without a clue. It did freak me out. I guess many of us lead this bifurcated life. I don’t believe I have met many who are completely open about their TGing unless they are transitioning. Foe the record I have no desire to transition. Its to hard costs to much and my life is already to complex. But if it works for you its Okay.
Thank you Sallee. It’s funny, while you were leaving the comment, I am in Erie for their Gala and having very similar conversations with some ladies here. Best we can do is love ourselves and everything esle will take care of itself. Appreciate you my dear!