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Notes From The Closet: Thoughts While Walking

| May 11, 2015
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When I was a little boy, I was small, weak, a little sickly. I got beat up a lot. A next door neighbor used to come over and punch me out pretty regularly. Eventually, my grandfather who owned the house put up a fence to stop that.

At age ten, I had rheumatic fever and was hospitalized for three weeks. The doctor prescribed bed rest and no time outdoors for four months.

I grew quite a bit in that period. Some of it was fat, but I also became tall for my age. Given the illness (and accompanying heart murmur), I was still weak. This was the period where I started to become intrigued with feminine clothes. I had fantasies of “being a girl” before this, but I started experimenting with wearing slips, half slips and nightgowns.

I continued growing over the next few years. I also ignored the doctor’s orders and worked on becoming stronger. I lifted weights. I learned boxing, played non-league football, mostly as a lineman. I made the track and field team as a shot putter and discus thrower. I did some hard physical work. In short, I worked hard at becoming a tough guy, a real man. I knew that there was this feminine longing, and I was both intrigued by it and ashamed of it. So, I presented as a macho male.

It worked. One of my former tormentors challenged me to a boxing match. He was smaller than I, but his friends laughed at the idea that I could beat him. In three rounds he spent more time on the canvas than on his feet. The same friends who laughed at me now accused me of beating up a smaller boy. One of the larger friends made a big joke about how he should fight me next. I simply said that I’m not backing down from any challenge. The laughing stopped, and no challenge was forthcoming.

Because I had been bullied, I was and am very aware of the way boys and men carry themselves with a certain threatening swagger. I mastered that, too. I never bullied anyone else, but from the age of 14 on, I was never picked on by a bully again.

On a recent business trip, this sense of how a lot of men (not all, perhaps not a majority but many) carry themselves with a slightly menacing swagger struck me again. I am in my sixties now, but I remain in good physical condition, and I’m a moderately large man (nearly 6 feet, a little over 200 pounds). It’s enough that when I’m on the sidewalk, some men reduce the level of menace in their walk.

There’s a lot of physical security in having my size and my birth gender.

And yet….

On that same business trip, I noted, as I often do, the grace and composure with which many women carry themselves. As a heterosexual man, some of that turns me on. But as someone who is in touch with my own transgender feelings, I admit that I see the way a woman delicately commands her space, and I am filled with envy, not lust.

A woman walking down the street or through a hotel lobby has a beautiful fluidity to her motions. If she has long hair, it bounces as she steps along. A shorter-haired woman can have a very attractive style or cut, and it complements her movements. She’s obviously aware of the way her parts move in beautiful coordination, arms swinging a little, breasts perhaps bouncing very slightly, hips swaying naturally with each step. Whether wearing a dress, a skirt or pants, heels or flats, she manages to look like poetry in motion.

As a closeted crossdresser, the allure of learning and executing that feminine gait seems a distant mirage.

I salute my TG sisters who have taken those sweet and graceful steps toward a public and feminine walk.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

Claire Crowley

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