“Why not try it?” my doctor asked in the summer of 2016. I knew I was transgender but very afraid to express myself or begin the transition process. She was telling me I needed to get outside as my true self and let the world see me. I also wanted to make sure that transitioning was right for me.
I discussed it with Megan and started building a new wardrobe. We bought clothes online and at thrift stores. I’d wear my new outfits around the house. I almost immediately started to feel guilty about hiding from the world, so in August 2016 I finally found the courage to step outside.
“Here I go!” I exclaimed as I walked out the door, trembling with fear of the unknown. I clumsily applied my makeup, put on a wig I bought at a costume shop in the neighbourhood, and finally added my new dress I call my “June Cleaver” dress. It was perfect for a 1950’s housewife; black with white polkadots, buttons shaped like hearts and a belt to tie into a bow. Megan pulled the car right up to our building, I was too nervous to walk down our street! She drove me to the LGBT Centre to attend a meet-up group of people who identify as transgender. I was so frightened walking through the door. After the meeting, I walked with some new friends to a nearby shop to eat macaroons. I was so nervous wandering around town in my new dress, but it was so liberating. I was out living as me! Not one person I encountered looked at me in a strange way. That really gave me so much confidence. Megan agreed to meet up with us later, but while driving to the shop, she caught a glimpse of us. Her eyes filled up with tears as she watched her unhappy husband turn into her beautiful wife.
From that day on, I knew I had to be me. I knew I could do this! I kept holding myself back, because I was afraid of losing my family and friends. I eventually learned I wasn’t living for them, but for myself. It’s such an incredible feeling to be yourself and hold nothing back. I’m still getting used to looking at myself in the mirror and being happy with who is staring back at me. Now, when I go into my closet, and see my “June Cleaver” dress hanging up, I always think back to that day, and that first step I took to live my life as my true self.