When I was a small child I was always stealing (and wearing) woman’s clothes. I say that and right this second I am embarrassed. My cheeks are red and my heart is racing and there is not anyone in this cell but me. The pull to remain closeted about my transgender identity is extremely strong.

I came out as trans to the world around me a few weeks ago and my life has not gone back to normal. Suddenly everything seems uncertain and shaky. It has given me anxiety that, quite frankly, proves just how strong I have become over these past 7 years.

Expressing myself as feminine or gender non-conforming has been my settlement with the prison, my peers and my loved ones. It allowed me to begin expressing myself in a more feminine manner externally without surprising anyone. It became normal because “he is gender non-conforming, whatever in the hell that is.”

The problem is when I look in the mirror or look down. When I look at magazines or media to compare myself to beauty, like most people, it is not men I compare against, its women. It always has been and always will be. Something else about this second “coming out” is that I have guarded this piece of me for a very long time and it is raw, it resides in my most insecure and sacred portion of my soul. I do not let people into that part easily and this has opened that piece of me up for anyone to see and in have to say…it is scary.

I hope to take hormones soon, develop more feminine body characteristics, get rid my masculine features as much as possible. It won’t make me a complete woman, but it sure would help ease some of this stress. Make me feel less self conscious when I look in the mirror, to say the least.

I sure could use some community advice.

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With Love
Ruth Utnage