Going out as a girl

Over the last few weeks, I have been consumed by the desire to go somewhere presenting as a woman. In the 15 months of my transition so far, I have not done so once. I have bought clothes, experimented with makeup, and trained my voice but only within the confines of my apartment. It is one of those hurdles that I know I have to cross eventually, but have been pushing off for months out of fear. It is scary to take that step, especially now, but I think that I have found the ideal situation in which to try going out in girl mode.

In many ways, now is probably a really bad time for me to try going anywhere in girl mode. My area has never been very safe for trans people or any segment of the LGBT community. It is in the U.S. south, has a sizeable religious conservative population, and an active militia community. However, while it was bad before, it has gotten worse in the last couple of months. While my state has yet to pass any anti-trans legislation, the increased national focus on trans people has really brought out the bigotry. This bigotry has escalated in the last few weeks in response to the implementation of some new state policies protecting trans rights. There have been some fairly significant protests against trans rights as a result and an increase in general bigotry in daily life. It is not great.

Despite this, I want to take some steps towards presenting as a woman outside of my home. I have been thinking about some relatively safe ways to do so and I think I have found one. My next HRT appointment is next week and I think that will be my best opportunity. My hormone provider is in another city, so there is very little risk of running into anyone that I know. The clinic itself and its staff are very affirming, so I would be going to a safe place and the city that the clinic is more progressive (at least compared to my community). It seems like this is the safest situation for me to try going out as a girl.

I am getting to a stage in my gender transition where I feel like I need to start taking steps to break out of my comfort zone. I have spent the first 14 months of transition in near isolation, both due to the pandemic and my own fears about discrimination. This isolation was broken last month by my new job and in doing so, it has forced my go back out into the world presenting as a man and reminded me how much I dislike doing so. Pretending to be a man is uncomfortable, I constantly feel like I am acting out a part and doing it poorly. I eventually want to come out and live genuinely, but I am not brave enough to do so. Instead, I need to take baby steps towards it and being able to occasionally go outside as a woman is a good place to start.

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