By Tina Davis
It seems so long since I have written a post here, but I still read the blog daily and occasionally comment. I think about dressing every day, but I have had very little opportunity as I am still working from home. My wife is not currently working and has been thinking about retirement, although she does enjoy contract work in her field. I may have a chance to get out dressed in August, but it will depend on the final schedule for a multi-day event and whether my wife will also be volunteering during that week.
When I read Amanda J’s recent post, it resonated very strongly with me. It’s been almost 6 months since I last fully dressed – I did put on a dress once during a very short time window, but without makeup or wig, it didn’t really count IMO. I have updated this text that I wrote a few years ago as my response. I originally called it “WANT vs. NEED”, but I see it much more now as how those two feelings work together to give me a sense of balance in my life.
I WANT to put on a dress or a blouse and skirt, but I do not NEED to do so. I WANT to feel the silky smoothness of my shaved legs and the weight of my forms in a bra strapped to my hairless chest. I WANT to see a full head of long blonde hair, earrings dangling and finished makeup when I look in the mirror. I WANT to hear my heels on the floor or sidewalk as I walk around inside and outside. I WANT to be free to put on a dress and high heels and go out in public without hiding it from my wife.
But I do not NEED any of these things. I am sad that I cannot find the time to dress, but I am not a person who feels any differently when I am dressed in drab or as Tina. I love my wife and daughter and do not want to hurt them. I NEED to be the husband and father they know and love. I have been able to push down the WANT over these longer stretches, even as that feeling grows stronger but does not become an overwhelming NEED.
As I grow older, I have found that I may WANT to be more open about this side of me, but the fact that I have hidden my full self for so long makes it difficult to change that perception. I do not NEED to come out to my employers or my friends, although that thought has crossed my mind each year during Pride Month in June and on National Coming Out Day in October.
The balance between WANT and NEED is sometimes hard to maintain. To me, the nature of being a crossdresser under the transgender spectrum means understanding that balance. When (not if) I go out again, it will be because I WANT the experience, not because I NEED it. The same applies to shopping, I do not NEED to buy more dresses and heels, even though I certainly WANT to wear them all.
This blog and others like it are beacons of hope for me and so many others like me. Even though I have never met Kandi or most of her contributors, I feel a closeness that is so meaningful. I can see the joy in every story of simple acceptance, whether from strangers met for the first time or long-time friends. I WANT to have those kinds of interactions more often and just be free to be my whole self. I know that continuing to be patient is not easy, but it is the best path for me to stay on during this time.