A bunch of catching up
Happy 150th Canada!
Well……Well, well, well, well. Where to start. Where I left off I suppose.
I know it’s been a long time (again) since my last entry, life, family, car maintenance and job have all kept me busy, but not too busy as to be able to dress on occasion.
Back in December, I had a couple of issues I needed to talk to my CO about. As I hope to be able to expand participation within the local LGBTQ+ community in the future, I used the opportunity to have “the talk” with him. I wanted him to hear everything from me and not by accident from other sources. His response, “you have to be true to yourself, as long as it doesn’t bring shame to The Forces”. Wow! Great relief.
Things where quiet during the winter, but for TDOV, 31 March, I posted my small homemade Trans* flag on the inside wall of my cubical. Not in plain site unless you stepped right in. Small steps.
Towards the end of April was my next opportunity to dress, a few hours, but as always, enjoyable! (Pics are posted on Flickr as always)
The month of May proved to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. During this time, my dancing daughter heads to a competition in Moncton NB. The past two years my wife and eldest daughter have also gone, giving my almost a week of possible dressing time (work schedule depending). I was informed I would be taking her this year. Initially this was a downer…however, upon discussion with the two girls (who OKed the plan), I decided that I would spend some of the time dressed. I was very excited about the prospect of spending a couple days exploring Moncton and possibly even watching the dance competition enfemme.
Then the inevitable change of plans (I still don’t know if these kind of things just happen to me or, if I was the suspicious type, I would suspect my wife plans and was making these changes on purpose) she was going with the girls, I would stay home with my son and TWO international students. Oh yes, we had picked up another student in January, from China…so if I wanted to dress for extended periods of time (outside school hours), I would now have to talk to him, which I did and all went well, no issues!
So, anyway, before the dance comp, our Chinese student need to go to the city (Halifax) and complete an English exam. By pure luck, the times worked out on that Saturday, that after dropping him off, I was able to attend the FLY community coffee. Although it was Trans Guys week (my luck), I was able to meet another member Katie and had a great talk. I was also fortunate to find a couple pair of flats out of the many pairs that one of the guys had brought from his neighbor. Bonus!
Friday the 19th May proved to be another one of those firsts. After exchanging a couple messages with another Nova Scotia gal, she arranged to come over from the south shore (an hour and a half drive) to have coffee, both in girl mode. We met at the bottom of the local highway off ramp. I jumped out of my car and gave her a big hug, as passing traffic (and a cop car…lol) drove by and I wasn’t nervous or anything. Darlene wanted to go through the local drive through for coffee but I initially backed out of the idea, but while driving as I got closer…”what the heck…” and drove through. Ordered an Ice Cap in my best feminine voice…again, no issues. We then drove to a local picnic park and talked for something line 3 hours or more. Just a tremendous feeling of freedom!
Just so you can appreciate how nervous I have been in the past and never dressed in the local area, the village I live outside of has a population of only around 7000. The adjoining village has about the same. The RCAF Base I work at is the largest employer in the area, so I have always been sensitive to running into someone I might know. However, my mind set is changing. I’m opening up, as you will read about in a bit.
The time went too quickly, but I had other tasks to attend to. Prior to heading home, I texted my two sons to let them know I was dressed and on the way home. They in turn let me know that their girlfriends would also likely be there….I had given them the ok to tell them about ‘Michelle’…how would this go. Only #3’s girlfriend (L) was there…again no issues. Later that evening, the 2 Internationals, son and girlfriend and I sat around the campfire with marshmallows, chocolate (and red win for me) and had a blast! (and we didn’t even talk about crossdressing…lol)
Saturday was a guy-stuff-to-do day.
Sunday was another girly day. I had to drop one of the IS’s off at his drama group and I then used the opportunity to drop in on the ladies bathroom at the local mall (this was a really big first for me). Passed another woman as I went in and one as I came out after checking hair and makeup. All great. Then I walked around a local park but was surprised how quiet it was, sort of disappointing really. It was then home, slight change and out for my now annual bike ride. I did the same route as I had done the previous year, only in reverse. Again, what an exhilarating feeling.
That evening #2’s girlfriend (R) got to meet me. Well, it couldn’t have gone any better. Later that evening the three of us “girls” (L, R and me) sat around the kitchen table talking make-up (kind of pissed off my eldest son as he was trying to watch a movie in the adjoining room…lol). She had a number of very sensible questions, one being “I’m unsure about pronouns, what should I use?”. For me, it’s how I’m presenting at that time. I told my son she’s a keeper…lol. A question that I struggle with was one she also asked “if it was more acceptable for you to dress, would you?” My answer, “yes, but…”. It’s an ever lingering question, one I’m really attempting to answer as I explore this part of my life.
The “high” I was experiencing even lasted until the following day, as even without much makeup and simply dressed, I looked in the mirror and saw my fem self.
The next week I posted this on my FB page “Back to reality, back to work. NO. Strike that…just, back to work. Everything that occurred this weekend WAS reality. I can’t deny it. My head is spinning somewhat”.
With that I re-engaged the mental health unit on my base. An hour long talk with the social worker was again enlightening. Though she has 17 years’ experience, only 3 months working with the military, and not a great deal of knowledge in this subject, she was willing to learn from those who do. At the end of the session I showed her a couple of pictures. She was quite taken back and said “please don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like a woman”. I now have to talk with someone else next week. In the year since I last talked to this other woman, there has been some change in my desires/wants/needs. We will see where this takes me. I am also looking for help in talking with my wife as to my expanding desires to be more out and participating in the LGBTQ community.
With June being Pride month, Bill 16 passing here in Canada, and the desire to have more flexibility to pursue counselling and other activities associated with trans+ issues, it was time to tell my direct supervisor. He is someone I have known for many years, been my boss a couple times (though same rank, Captain) and volunteered with for local hockey events. Wow…total acceptance, total support. If I need time for appointments, just let him know so he can move my work schedule around to accommodate.
One more talk to have in the coming weeks, the new incoming CO. Again, someone I’ve known and flown with in the past. Apparently it gets easier to tell others…will see. Stay tuned. I’ll try and not be so long between postings.