To Be (Out) or Not To Be (Out)? That is the question.

| Nov 28, 2016
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This month marks six years of me writing columns, one every four weeks, for Angela’s TGForum. I have written about my adventures and the adventures of others. I have made some attempts at fiction and I have reported on news events and done one product review.

In all that time I do not ever recall delving in to the area of offering advice from myself or from others. When it comes to transgender issues there are many others who can do a better job than I can. However I’m going to take my first timid steps in to that field in the next few columns. Well it won’t so much be me giving the advice. Instead I’ll be interviewing three very interesting people about how they handle an issue very important to crossdressers. It is one issue that they each handle very differently from each other.

First I will set the context. I know everyone does not see it this way but I see the general category of transgender as having two large groupings — transsexuals and crossdressers. Transsexual persons seem to divide in to three categories — pre-op, post op and non-op. I accept that there is a fourth category being those who in some way identify with the other gender but for the present time are living in their birth gender. But let’s leave them aside for the moment.

Other than the suggestion of passable or non-passable, straight, gay or bi, I’m not aware of any sub categories for crossdressers. I identify as a crossdresser hence my interest in this topic.

Transgender persons are faced with a lot of choices. Without a doubt a person seeking gender re-assignment is faced with many more serious choices than is the average crossdresser. With the stakes and costs so high I don’t know how anyone seeking gender re-assignment can handle the pressure of the decisions to be made. The drive to reach that goal must be very great indeed.

However there is one issue that transgender persons, whether TS or CD, have to deal with that the TS has a much easier route. The choice is made for her. When a person decides to pursue gender re-assignment to be the person she feels / knows she was meant to be and starts on the path of hormone therapy, counselling, life tests and operations there is no hiding that change from the rest of the world. The transgender person is going to have to tell or show the rest of the world about his/ her new person. I do not think there is any such thing as a closet TS.

Can you imagine the conversation in the golf club men’s locker room? A friend comes around the corner and catches Pat taking his shirt off. “Hey Pat. How are you? I haven’t seen you in a while.”

“That’s right,” replies Pat. “I haven’t been myself lately so I’ve been away in Montreal for some surgery,” Pat continues as he hurriedly tries to put his shirt back on.

The friend looks a bit startled. He had seen an eyeful. “That’s a pretty nice pair of boobs you have there. I never noticed them before. What are they D cups?” he asks. “Taking some estrogen therapy for the prostate are you? I have heard of and seen man boobs before but those are beauties!”

“I guess I have to tell you. There is no hiding it any longer. I have always felt I should have been born and raised as a female. You know I have always kept my hair long. Years ago I waxed and laser treated my body hair and removed my facial hair. I am and always have been a transsexual. When I have not been playing golf with you guys there is a good chance I’d be going out somewhere as a woman.

“Finally I have made the change and I guess now that everyone will know I will be leaving the club.”

“Hell, don’t do that! If we’d known about this we’d have insisted you have the sex change years ago.”

“What! Why?”

“Well you know all those scramble tournaments we have been entering. Just think of how much better we would have played with your drives coming off the ladies’ tees. Just think of the prizes we are going to win now. Don’t change clubs. Just change locker rooms.”

There’s no denying it. Be she pre-op, post-op or non-op, once one adopts full time her gender of choice or the gender she was always meant to be the word is out and, other than permanent hibernation or some other sort of reclusive activity, the new woman has no way to hide her new identity even if she wanted to hide it.

We crossdressers, on the other hand, usually have a choice and often that choice is a difficult one and not a final one. Sometimes the choice is made for us. We make a slip up, leave some garments or make-up lying around. Our cache of photos gets discovered. Or perhaps the wife/ex-wife came home a little early. Being ‘outed’ on terms not of our making is usually stressful and painful. It often ruins marriages and causes a huge emotional toll on the crossdresser and the rest of the family. When the outing stretches beyond the family the changes in one’s social and work relationships can be devastating. I remember one crossdressing friend, an Air Force colonel telling me that he would not expect to keep the respect of the men under his command if he were to come out as a weekend crossdresser. I would think the same could go for the relationship between a teacher and his students, for example.

What you will see in my next three articles is how three crossdressers have each taken a different approach to revealing herself to those around her why each has taken that path and how it is working for her. I found it very interesting to collect their stories. I hope you will find these ladies interesting, too. Perhaps you might see in their stories the path forward for yourself.

But wait! There could be more. For these three ladies whether each chose self-disclosure or not it has worked out well. Not all disclosures work out so well. How has it been for you? Would you like to share your story? Contact me at [email protected] I’d love to hear from you.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

Linda Jensen

About the Author ()

Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the Transvestian newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

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