I have come out to my family and friends. I tell them that it’s ok to tell anyone they want, it’s not a secret identity, I’m not a superhero!
One thing I really enjoy is hearing the story of them telling their family or friends. I am interested in the opinions of people without my presence to alter their response.
A common reply is ‘ You would not think that of him, he was such a ‘Man’s man’. These statements are usually based on shared experiences like backpacking or Mountain biking. Both activities that are perceived as manly, but are just as likely to have female participants as not.
This makes me reflect on how I behaved in the past. I expressed myself in as manly a manor as possible. I kept a beard or go-tee for most of my adult life, and although I never admitted it, it was my way of keeping me from expressing my feminine side. All part of the mask that I wore every day.
A little bit of self reflection always leads me to comparing what I have learned about myself to the rest of the world. I started looking at some of my trans friends, specifically the ones that are ‘Part time’, still in hiding from their work, friends, family and sometimes even their wives. When they are not expressing themselves as feminine, they exhibit that same ‘Man’s Man’ kind of attitude. Not the over the top attitude of a typical bully to frat house jerk, just an expression that they are a MAN, with no hint of femininity.
I can’t speak for anyone else but I know I did this as a way of keeping myself in check. A way to make it more difficult to express who I was inside.
In the end, all I did was bottle up my feelings until they reached a breaking point where they could no longer be ignored.