Stranger things

“Are you single?” she asked casually while ironing a shirt.

“Yes,” I replied without a hitch.

“It’s probably better that way, given what you’re doing with your life.”

“Yeah.”

“Are you the gay or straight type?”, she asked with the most frank honesty I had ever heard. A question I’m rarely asked.

“…Straight.”

I answered back with only a momentary hesitation that was hardly noticeable, but I knew that question had already realize just how much I might be able to trust this woman.

renai_779I had an opportunity to meet a wonderful woman yesterday. No, not the kind that has fallen head-over-heels for me or vice-versa. Not the kind that I’ve known for years and can relate to in every way. She is someone I have barely known a day’s length and never expected to interact with on a personal level. Though her openness and honesty led to deeper, meaningful conversations and a sense of trust that I rarely, if ever, have obtained so quickly in a matter of hours.

My own revelation to her of the girl I am on the inside was certainly the highlight of our chat. That turned everything around for what I believe to have been for the good.

She showed me an article that she had read a few weeks ago that she felt would cheer me up. Not that I was an emotional wreck after I explained to her my personal perspective on how I have been living this “double life,” but it was to encourage me that I am not alone. Reading what she showed me revealed to me that I’m still very much uncomfortable with my body and how people perceive/pass judgment on me. I am also very scared to “just be” because of all the years that I was able to circumvent my own internal doubts in order to fit in. To put myself out there as a female to others who have been able to become comfortable in their skin and all the additional baggage that will be thrown atop of my already existing baggage is something I still hesitate about, even after all I have done thus far as Ren.

I want to be loved…one day.

“So why aren’t you dating?” She was tinkering with her camera, but was still keen enough on my presence to shoot me another question I am, again, rarely ever asked. My senses tweaked and my mind fired the first thing that came to it.

“No one likes me,” I said with an off-beat chuckle. I had no idea how else to reply other than with the same frank, but warm honesty she had offered up to me.

“I find that hard to believe..”

The article was about children who had come to understand that their gender was not dictated by what they were born with between their legs, but how they identified within their own being. Children, who had gone through the trial of defying their parents and society, refusing to allow their gender to be predetermined from where they felt most honest and comfortable. Children, who are now going to school and the families who have been transformed by their decision to support them, albeit gradual.

I guess I’m envious…Frustrated that those children had much less on their slate and could more easily alter the standards from what they were previously forced into. I’m envious of their freedom. Of their certainty. Of their grace. Why can’t I live that way?

“Have you ever felt as if you were acting out?”

“Yes, but there has always been this sense of duality throughout my life. This gray area that allows me to live naturally as a male, but honestly have felt cheated that I could not be female…”

“Mm. I’ve always felt female myself, but it must be hard for you to live a double life…”

She made every effort to truly understand me when she had no obligation to care or empathize. I was absolutely humbled by her character and willingness to listen, care, and share her own stories about people she knows who are of divergent sexuality and gender and others who have taken not-so-glamorous paths presenting as a different gender. As time passed, we talked about many other things, but I could tell she perceived me in a fresh way that made me feel special. She later joked with me to not become a prostitute and that sealed our bond I’d say.

“Don’t worry~ There’s no way I will,” I said with a laugh.

“Good. There are people just like you out there. It may be best for you to seek out your…tribe I guess you could call it and perhaps you will be able to feel more at ease. Maybe you’ll even find love that way.”

“Maybe..I guess I need to figure that out-“

“No no, you don’t need to figure out anything. Just be…I believe good things come to good people. Just please don’t become a prostitute. <3”

I’ve lived my life trying to be something else. Something more than what I was, but always for myself while secretly hoping someone would genuinely care. And yet, someone who, by all means, should have been nothing more to me than a simple stranger, told me to my face what I have needed to hear for so long…So thankful.

This shouldn’t be so hard, nor should I be so conflicted.

I’m not alone though. So I should keep seeking out what I have lost, and do what I can to outwardly be who I am in my heart and soul beyond the physicality. To love myself even when I don’t like what I see in the mirror.

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