At Work In 2005
Our need for self-expression and fulfillment does present quite a challenge especially when positive reinforcement seems to follow us everywhere.
I have always viewed my extra-gender activity as visits into the land of femininity. I guess it started very young viewing travel brochures (catalogs and magazines). This progressed to quick visits and now I see myself as having a full travel visa. Traveling there you also learn how committed you are to getting your extended "visa," or even applying for temporary residency in the Land of Femininity. I visit at will now and enjoy every blessed moment.
Would I ever want to live full time in the land of femininity? The thought has crossed my mind as extended visits have occurred. I also have worked and have many friends there. Yes, dreams sometime come true. As with any extended trip, I am usually happy to have the option to return home. There I have family, friends, and obligations. Like most of us, I have made promises to others and myself.
Gender discovery and the progression as I see it, does not have to be a “either/or.” Why not both? We already know that our internal operating systems (masculine/feminine) are much more flexible than most, so why limit ourselves. Enjoy the possibilities.
I retired in 2001 after many years of IT consulting and traveling with much general wear and tear on my body. I quickly became very board. Volunteering led to part time – part time led to full time and thus, a career in fundraising (10+ years now). I love what I do; I feel like I am giving back and “all dressed up and somewhere to go.”
At the end of the day, I shower and comb the hair back into a somewhat masculine look. Sometime after I look into the mirror and see a sad man, but secondary comfort levels return. On weekends when I do not have business commitments, I wash the car, have woodworking and repair projects, and relax with my family unencumbered by my other life. I know that his type of integration might not be for everyone. Some see only fulfillment in being “true to yourself,” but I see reality in also being true to my commitments as well as self.