Since I’ve come out to my mum and older sister on my birthday in August, I’ve been consistently living out my Saturdays as Ren in the physical sense. The mental and emotional levels remain ever-present throughout the week, but being able to do this for the sake of hopefully making a statement to myself as well as to everyone in the house that I’m serious about living this way has been beyond liberating.
To put this into perspective, I spent all of 2012 and half of this year hiding and literally sneaking around to avoid being seen by anyone in makeup. The only exception was when I was going to an anime convention. Eventually everyone started to associate me in makeup and a wig as “oh it’s another con-thing-whatever.” I was fine with that, but as 2013 rolled in, I started to get braver. My older brother used to ask me if I was going to a con. At first, I was lying. Then I simply said I was going out with my friends. I’m sure that only made me appear even stranger.
Though after I told the people that mattered, there was nothing to hide. I even briefly explained this to my brother while presenting female. You would think simply going about my day in the house would have become loads easier.
Saturday after Saturday I happily do my makeup, alternate between my three outfits – I really need a job again so I can go shopping – then go about my day. Most times, I even have a chance to chat with my mum which is nice that she will still talk to me. My brother does briefly acknowledge me with “hi” and “bye” but that’s how it’s been for years unless he needs something from me. I shift from being able to talk to my mum’s boyfriend to not speaking to him at all. For the most part, everything is the same as always. However, I still deal with my own grappling of discomfort and awkwardness.
I’m still trying to get to that place where I truly own myself and don’t feel like I’m causing a problem by going against the norm. The stark irony of this is how much I’ve gone against the norm throughout my lifetime and had no qualms about it. Thankfully, I typically only feel this way for a short time in the beginning of my day, but I’d like to be rid of it so I can carry myself with pride in the presence of anyone I encounter. Yes, I’m still just a stubborn girl with high standards of herself.
I want to truly live, smile, and be free to be rather than afraid. That will not be for some time, but this is a start. I knew what I would be up against. So I’ll keep wearing that old identity for as long as I must to satisfy the credentials I’ve placed on myself. Once I have the means to do, little by little, I will drop the mask and come out to the world on a more permanent basis.
Maybe by that time, I would have finally learned to love myself and not doubt who I am and have been inside.