We all have stories. This one goes back to late 1980’s. The photo above is from that period and was taken after a panel discussion at UCSD, about 1989.
My first group meeting ever was with “Neutral Corner” in San Diego. There I meet wonderful friends and took my time perfecting a public image. This was the first time I had allowed myself to be out at cultural events, elegant restaurants and I was a participant in several university panel discussions. I had always been comfortable as Rhonda but needed to build my confidence. While there I came to the realization that it is not so much how we look, but how we project ourselves. If we are friendly and confident then others see that, and act accordingly. I never considered what I was doing as something negative and never thought of the clothing as a costume or disguise. I wanted to be accepted and I built my confidence by going out, smiling, being seen and meeting people.
Here is my funny story: I had just landed a great contract in San Diego and without returning to Florida, I elected to stay over a weekend and attend my first group meeting ever. I had none of my Rhonda stuff with me, so I was going to need to purchase everything from hair to heels. Going in male mode was not going to be an option. Up to that point, I had been somewhat cautious buying female items, always keeping a cover story close if someone asks, “And who is this lovely gift for?” After a whole day of shopping, I decided to throw caution to the wind and shop for “the cosmetics” at a discount, one stop, has everything, boutique store. There I was, with a basket full of lipstick, blusher, eyeliner, mascara, and everything else. As I putting all this on the checkout counter, the cashier looks at me, then looks at all my stuff and without hesitation asks “What are you doing - building a woman in your garage?” We both lost if laughing and I had to admit to him “You have no idea how close to the truth you just came”.
Please feel free to share your stories so we can all learn and laugh with you. E-mail yours to rhondawilliams at bellsouth . net. I will e-mail you back when I will publish. Preference – short, G and, PG stories only. Thanks.