A “Real” Woman?

| Aug 27, 2018
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One of the criticisms of women who are transgender that I run across frequently is that we’re not “real” women; we are only sad parodies, obsessed with hair, clothes and makeup.

My polite response: balderdash. (You can probably guess what I really wanted to say.)

Now, anyone who has followed my journey on Facebook or in person knows I delight in these things. Washing the gray right out of my hair makes me feel ten years younger. The first thing I asked my stylist to do was restore the natural red highlights I had when I was younger, before the gray crept in. More recently, I said let’s take it a step further. I gave her a picture of Cristina Hendricks (Joan from Mad Men) and said let’s go for it — and I love the result.

I love the look, the feel, the color, the sheer variety of women’s clothing. I do love shopping now, and one friend said in a joking way (I think) that it didn’t take me long to become a shoe whore.

Yes, after being denied all these things for most of my life, I am delighting in them now. But if this was all my journey was about, I would have been a male crossdresser. This is an oversimplification, but what I try to explain to people who are questioning or confused is that some men dress up for sexual kicks; some do it as a form of relaxation and escape; but they see it as an aspect of their personality and interests, not at the core of their identity.

Not to say that the two are entirely divorced — according to one source, some transgender men initially identify as lesbian (Chaz Bono is one prominent example) and some transgender women identify as crossdressers. During my time of exploration, I flirted with the idea that crossdressing privately, or perhaps on rare public outings out of town, might be enough to bring me the degree of contentment that I needed. That phase passed fairly quickly.

I am struggling to find the right words to express this thought, but I hope this will be clear: my outer appearance today is a reflection of who I am, but it’s not my core identity. That has grown and evolved every day of my life, but transitioning genders hasn’t changed it, except to free me from guilt and shame and the need to hide who I really am. This outward change has changed the way the world relates to me, and so much for the better.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

Claire H.

About the Author ()

Claire Hall was born and grew up in a large city on the left coast and has spent most of her adult years in a beautiful small coastal community where she's now an elected official in local government after spending many years as a newspaper and radio reporter. In her space time she loves reading, writing fiction (her first novel was published by a regional press a couple of years ago), watching classic Hollywood movies, and walking.

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  1. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    The problem is that there is a segment of those who are transitioning or have transitioned that totally deny that a crossdresser can also be a woman. See my article here on Not Trans Enough https://tgforum.com/not-trans-enough-the-ugly-side-of-being-trans

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