Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Day on the Road.

Saturday was an amazing day! I've been feeling a little trapped at home lately, staying to keep from worrying Mom, always worrying about when the friction between us will flare into another inferno of argument. Saturday I decided to take a day and see my friends. I really wasn't sure where I was even going. Tina, Sylvia, Lisa and I decided to meet up in Lexington and decide from there whether to go to Louisville, or shop in town.

I told Mom and Dad Saturday morning I would be out for the day. Mom knew right away that meant I would be out as my true self, and did get a bit emotional. We had a long hug and she told me to be careful. Just as I was leaving she said she would be praying that I would follow God's will. For the first time, she didn't imply that she knew God's will already and that I needed to comply. She said "I'll pray that you do God's will. That's something we can both pray for isn't it?" I told her yes, and we departed on good terms, though she had tears in her eyes. I left in boy mode. My parents have still not truly met me presenting as my true gender.

The easier than expected departure left me free to enjoy my day. We started to get things coordinated by phone as I drove and decided to meet at Lisa's. Everyone else was basically ready so I was holding up the works as usual. But Getting ready at Lisa's was a lot easier than in my car. Things went really smooth and fast.

I had not been out in a while, so decided to wear something fun! The outfit of choice was a black, blue and white floral strapless dress, black satin oxford style pumps, and a tiny black tote. My friends gave me tons of compliments, temporarily inflating my usually low self esteem.

Our first stop after chatting for a while at Lisa's, was a Lexington Goodwill. The diversity of garments was staggering. Everything from practical, to bold, to humorous! I wasn't out to spend money, so my eye mainly caught the most outrageous things. Lisa and I roasted all the most hideous stuff we could find with humerous critiques. Time flew by, and we ended up behind schedule. By this time we had decided to continue to Louisville and attend the Sienna support groups monthly meeting.

Checking out from Goodwill, the clerk told me she wished she were as tall as me and complimented my legs. Then she inquired "What are you anyw-I mean, how tall are you anyway?" She thought I was going to misinterpret her question the way it was initially phrased. I was obviously read, or she would have never felt a need to change the wording. Still, the compliment was very kind, and it was nice that she was trying to be sensitive.

In Louisville, we arrived just on time for the meeting. They have recently changed meeting formats and it seems like they are started in a positive direction. They have big plans for increasing their presence in the city. I only wish I lived close enough to contribute. The last half of the meeting was devoted to snacks and socializing. I got to talk to a few of the Sienna members I had not had the opportunity to before. Sylvia, Tina and Lisa seemed to enjoy it as well.

After the meeting, Chris from Sienna brought me a wide assortment of shoes and clothes she no longer wears. I've not had time to try any of it on, but some of it looks very promising, especially the shoes!

After Sienna, we dropped by Debbie's house for cocktails. For those who don't know, she is basically my mentor in the art of makeup, and my Mary Kay rep, as well as one of my dearest friends. It was great seeing her as always. A few of the other Sienna girls came along as well! One of the last conversations I had before departing again for Lexington was with Rachel there at Debbie's. The subject of my long drive home was discussed, and I mentioned that it would be even longer because I would have to change clothes somewhere. She suggested that I go home as I am. "They are probably worried you are out in public as a crude caricature of a woman. They need to be worrying about you as a daughter."

The thought had occurred to me before. I explained to her though, that I'm not confident enough in my presentation. In my mind there is always the worry that seeing me would make things worse. What if I don't look good enough? What if they are ashamed? What if I scare them even more when they realize what I look like out and about? Rachel's suggestion almost gave me the confidence. I was feeling pretty, and maybe it was time to show them that I'm not some offensive creature, that I am a lady; a daughter.

After our goodbyes at Debbie's I drove my Lexington crew back to Lisa's house. Rachel's idea stayed in my mind all the way home, despite very engaging conversations most the way.

In the end, I couldn't do it though. I would be awake 22 hours by the time I got home and I knew I would not be looking at all my best. After another good chat while changing clothes and removing makeup at Lisa's I started the final strip of the drive again in boy mode. Actually Lisa and Tina are both adamant that I do not have a boy mode. :)

All the great social interaction and positive compliments of the day left me feeling happy with myself despite the gender mismatched clothes. I'm a woman, and most people can see it. For now, that's enough to make me very happy.

As Monday approaches I'm already missing all my girlfriends. The lively conversations, the acceptance, and the comfort that comes with true friendship. The day has left me feeling great about everything. I'll be starting this work week with a smile.


ms.shandy said...

Oh, and I know my hair was frizzy. And that black thing in my hand is a lens cap. ROFL!

Suzi said...

Oooh-la-la! That's such a cute picture of you girl! I could never wear an outfit like that...first, I'd have to have my back I know what you mean about the fun factor of being with friends. I've been to Dallas for Girl Weekend Outs several times and I always hate the trip back home and the inevitable return to boy mode at work the next day.

I think you made the right decision about changing before arriving home. That said, I DO think you should consider showing your family your true self...but not without warning. Talk about it with them or just let them know that you will not be changing before you get home next time.

I'm somewhat encouraged by your mom's reaction. I think she is finally beginning to realize that she can rant and rave all she wants but you are determined to do what you have to do. She seems resigned to letting God take care of you. Every chance you get, you should let her know that you and God are on the same page...that he has assured you that he loves you unconditionally...gender identity is not a requirement for salvation. Also let her know that you feel closer to God than ever before because you know HE accepts you for who you really are inside. I pray for you often. I'm glad you had a great time...keep it up. :)Suzi

Anonymous T-Girl said...

"They are probably worried you are out in public as a crude caricature of a woman. They need to be worrying about you as a daughter."

This. Truth.

ms.shandy said...

I appreciate your prayers Suzi, and the compliment too! I do need to open up more to my Mom, but its so hard. I guess right now, I'm just trying to make sure that we are at least moving forward at some rate.

Anonymous T-Girl, it is so true. Seems no matter how much confidence I have with the general public though, its still very hard to convince myself that my appearance can ever convey what I need to show my family. Maybe someday I will find the courage to at least try.

Leslie Ann said...

Oooooh, a lens cap. I thought that was the tiny black tote you described.

I'm with Suzi. You have to warn your parents before showing them full-blown Shandy Alexis. You might consider starting with photos. Or a nice line drawing. They will have to be eased in, for their sanity, and as a gesture of respect for their feelings. I think you're still a ways away from them being ready for that.

I can hardly wait till I get a chance to ride along! One day....

ms.shandy said...

Hehe! It's small for a tote, but not THAT small.

I look forward to when you get to drive somewhere with us too. It will be great! You're making progress in that direction you know?

As for my parents, photos probably are a better idea, than me just showing up looking so different. They have only ever seen me once, and it was so early in my makeup experimentation. And the dress I happened to be wearing at the time was definitely not ideal for being taken seriously by my parents.