A year ago at this time, I began the process of coming out, and coming to terms with the feminine side of me. I’ve been trying to it for over 25 years, but circumstances in 2009 had me rethink and revisit what I had kept hidden away…
I was inspired by someone I met on Flickr, back in the summer of 2009 – She was only on briefly (from early 2009 until about a month ago), but she inspired me to look back at a life I could have led, if I made some different choices earlier on. I became one of her admirers, and a contact to talk to once in a while. One of her other contacts friended me on my boy-mode Flickr account, and asked me if I dressed up. It took a while to admit it, but I came out to both of them, and a couple others online, in mid-April 2010.
I planned to start up on own Flickr as Julie Anne in early December 2009, and started chronicling my exploits in experimenting with outfits and makeup later on that month, picking up more courage and momentum, and finally putting up pictures of my face, and full-body photos in late April 2010, and I haven’t looked back since.
Flickr begat LiveJournal, which begat Facebook, and Twitter, my own web site (This one!) in the summer of 2010, a YouTube, and even a Skype and UStream account as of recently. Perhaps I’m following in others’ footsteps, but I will endeavor to make this journey my own.
I’ve also been getting out and about in public, mainly meeting other transgendered individuals (part-time girls, crossdressers like myself, pre-op, post-op, and non-op girls.) in mid-September 2010, starting with joining up with PINKessence, and from there, with encouragement from another Juli (Without the “e”), I joined up with the River City Gems, a TG/CD group up in Sacramento, CA, and went out to my first public event – River City Sparkle – in early October 2010, and I’ve been attending at least one monthly event since.
I did a lot of things this year I never thought I’d be able to do, and I’ve met new friends online and in person – Looking back, I still can’t believe I’ve been able to do it. I still have a long way to go on my journey, however.
Over the past few months, I’ve added another wig to my collection (The one I currently use), more makeup, clothes, shoes, etc., and I continue to experiment and refine my looks, as well as strive to improve my voice, mannerisms, movements, behavior, and image I project. In a way, it’s like I’m a teenager all over again, and I’m making up for so much lost time.
In the year ahead, I hope to continue my progress, even as I seek to re-enter the job market. (In the closet there for now, but I hope to eventually end up in a more liberal and TG-friendly environment eventually.) – I still have to come out to my family, some more friends, and of course, work eventually. I know it won’t be easy, and I know I have to be prepared to lose everything, but I’m starting from essentially Square One anyway.
I hope to have the support of my friends, both the ones I’ve made this year, and friends I’ve known for years (but haven’t come out to), the support of most of my family, and hopefully a workplace that will accept me if I decide fully transitioning will be the path I should take. I hope to seek counseling and/or therapy to see what is the best option for me – To remain non-op, and just stay part-time, or go full-time, either non-op or beginning the path to altering my body to match the woman within me.
The path will be long and difficult, and the future is not set. In a way, it’s like that quote in Inception:
Mal: I’ll tell you a riddle. You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where the train will take you?
Cobb: Because you’ll be together.
I know I won’t be making this journey alone, as I hope to be together with family and friends supporting me. Wish me luck, and hope that 2011 will be better than 2010, in many ways.
Love, peace, and hugs…
— Julie Anne