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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thoughts and Reflections - A Part Time Girl

If you've been following her blog for a while, you may know her by Aimee.  She's decided to change her name, however.  I believe she has it down to two different names and has yet to make a decision.

We may or may not ever know the name she has decided to take on as her own, so for now we'll refer to her as Part Time Girl.

A Part Time Girl is the name of the nice looking blog she has been doing since 2011.  I really relate to her story, and you may too.  Our girl has honored us with a guest post, so please read on.

Im Just a Part Time Girl....

A Little About Me

Im relatively new to accepting myself as trans. Even though I have had the thoughts, inclinations and urges to express myself as a female for most of my life, I tried to suppress it for around two decades with varying degrees of success. I am now in my early thirties and it was only 3 years ago that I finally realised I needed to 'let the girl out', or risk losing my sanity due to not realising something that has been with me for almost as long as I can remember. When I started I wasnt sure where it was going to lead and I wanted to take it one small step at a time, but I couldnt live with hiding it any longer.

Im currently calling myself trans because im not too sure where I sit on the spectrum at the moment. Its been a bit of a mental rollercoaster over the last few years, on some occasions ive been so depressed ive had to seek medical advice, ive beaten myself up mentally over the body im stuck with (among other things), and I have seriously considered going full time. But then other times ive been quite happy to be a part time girl, I have looked for ways to try and be comfortable in between, or even been comfortable just staying male for periods at a time even though the thoughts are always there simmering in the background, which is how I am feeling right now. At the moment there is no discomfort so I am ok with that.

Since I am only a few years old I dont consider myself particularly experienced, nor qualified enough to comment on subjects that carry any real weight to our community. My blog is more a diary of what I am thinking, feeling, or what I have been getting up to, and I specifically avoid blogging about anything topical or something that might cause controversy. So the following post is going to be along this vein, its going to be about my journey so far, and some thoughts on the back of this. And it is not representative of other part time girls like me.

A Brief History

Some trans people seem to have a defining moment when they realised something was different about them. For me, I cant remember exactly when this happened. Growing up I was a typical boy who loved comics, action figures and playing football, but at some point (probably around my early teens) I started being secretly envious of the girls I was growing up with. These thoughts could be strong and obsessive, and on occasion caused me quite a lot of angst and frustration. I would often go to sleep at night and hope I would be a girl in my dreams, and wish that when I woke up I would have changed into a girl even though I knew that was not physically possible. I wanted to be a girl so badly, but didnt do anything about it. I was planning to go and speak to a doctor, but was scared since she was a family GP and I didnt want my family to know. And if I had a sister, well, im sure she would have been running out of birth control pills quicker than she should have been.

In my early 20's I moved across the country, tried to suppress my trans side through partying, met a girl and tried to get on with life. The thoughts and urges never really left me, but I was able to put them to the back of my mind for a very long time. It wasnt until about 3-4 years ago that I started to have massive regrets, I started feeling like I was wasting my life and I was missing out on something that was a massive part of who I am. I sneaked around behind my girlfriends back for a year (which im not exactly proud of), testing the water to make sure that this was as big a deal as I thought it was, when I was a little surer of my position I then came out to her.

Since then I have been trying to learn. For me, being a part time girl is not as simple as just putting on clothes for an afternoon with no care in the world (although I wish it was sometimes). There are a lot of social and mental hurdles to jump through to try and accept this part of myself, to accept and get past the limitations of my situation, and to try and find my place in the world (something which still eludes me). And I think starting late has produced some challenges that would not be there if I had accepted this about myself as a child.

My Partner

One place I was not expecting to gain acceptance from was my girlfriend. When I came out to her it was a year after I started 'letting the girl out', and we were nearly 10 years into our relationship. Coming out to her was the hardest thing I have ever done, but we have survived and we are still together. I certainly was not expecting anything more than reluctant tolerance from her, but she has been amazing. There is the occasional friction from time to time, and some compromises have been made, but that is to be expected. Her acceptance has certainly helped me through some low moments, and the odd in-joke ("...even I can walk in heels better than she can!") certainly brings smiles to both of our faces.

If I had come to accept this about myself when I was younger, I would not have kept such a secret from her and would have been honest with her from near the start, even though this would probably have meant our relationship would have died before it even started. I cant help but still feel guilty at the fact that the amount of time she had already invested into our relationship was probably a large factor into her decision to stay with me.

Self Acceptance

Over the last few years I have been gradually learning to accept the fact that while I am trans and I am not in the place I really want to be, where I am isnt going to change and I have limitations I have to work with. This has caused varying degrees of depression, caused by the fact that I have wanted to be a woman for almost as long as I can remember, and trying to get over the crushing realisation that this is never going to happen. Or the fact that I know I will never look convincing, that it doesnt matter how flattering the clothes or how heavy or well done the makeup I will never look as good as the model in the advert I am looking at, or the girl I am passing in the street. Or the fact that everytime I buy new clothes it almost always frustratingly gets sent back because it just doesnt look right on my male frame. Or the fact that as my male body ages, it becomes harder and harder to look the way I want to as my body shape changes, and hair continues to grow and disappear in the wrong places.

Everytime I look in the mirror to put on makeup I have to try and fight past the man staring right back at me, some days this is easy, some days not so much. On occasion I have even been mid transformation and I had to stop because I felt like a lost cause and I just couldnt face myself in the mirror any longer. To be honest, id be happy not to have to put on much makeup at all since even though I do like being glammed up for a night out, my everyday clothing of choice for either gender is comfy, comfy and comfy. Having to trowel on makeup kind of detracts from that, but there is so much male to hide I dont have much choice other than to lay it on thick. But even after this I still have to accept that I will always look like a man in womans clothing, and not the woman I aspire to be.

Trying to get used to this has been incredibly difficult, but it has been easier lately. I still get frustrated occasionally but ive had to learn to accept that there is nothing here within my control, so its pointless getting depressed over it. I love expressing my female side, it should be a positive experience and it is once I can push myself past these barriers. I do wonder though if I would be thinking the same way if I had been honest with myself way sooner in life.

Its Not Just Clothes

I dont just dress up to look the part. I cant explain why but I just feel more comfortable, relaxed and sometimes even a little happier when I am able to express my female side. In real life ive never really been 'one of the boys', and get uncomfortable in particularly macho conversations and situations. I wouldnt say im one of the girls though either, ive missed out on 30 years of female social development so I dont have the natural skills, behaviours or even way of communicating that most women share. So I just sit in the middle really, feeling like a bit of an outcast and not really belonging to either side. But when I get an opportunity to choose what gender to present myself as, I am decidedly more comfortable being female, even with the really hot wig and uncomfortable breastforms.

When I started going out I really wanted the social feedback that matched my appearance, I wanted to be treated as a woman hoping this would help me feel more like a woman, but unsurprisingly this didnt happen. From my limited experiences of being out and about (especially away from the relative safety of gay clubs), judging from the glances and stares (and occasional comment behind me) I was viewed as a curiosity, or an oddity. In some ways I really didnt mind people being curious (and kind of expected it to a degree), but it took away from what it was I wanted to achieve, which was to blend in and to be accepted at face value as the gender I was presenting as. I suppose my hopes were aimed unrealistically high but I kind of anticipated that this might happen.

It took me a bit of time to get over this, it was kind of like the final realisation that what I truly wanted was unattainable and just made me feel like a fake, so what was the point. Now though, im still looking for social feedback and to be accepted by others, but ive had to accept that this will always be as a part time girl, rather than as a woman. There will be curiosity, some people will be nice, some people will be rude. I have to accept that this is not going to change no matter what I do. I genuinely think that for part time girls, 'passing' is a myth. People will notice you, but mostly they will be too polite to be obvious about it.

In some ways, this comes into line with when I think about what it would be like if I was in a position where I was out to everyone in my personal life as a part time girl. These people will have known me for a large part of my adult life, and if I was to have a 'Ta-Dah!' moment where I first met them as a woman and I was sashaying around the room, air kissing everyone and calling them 'hun', it would seem like an act, and you know, it probably would be. Ive been an institutionalised male for over 30 years, and as much as I still have that dream that ive had since being a child of being a woman, I need to reconcile that with the reality of who I am now. A middle age man who for the most part has been happy living as such, and doesnt want to turn his back on that side of his life. Never mind the fact that he has no idea how to sashay....

This is a relatively new concept to me and is definitely a work in progress, and even as I am typing (and editing, and re-editing) this post I am still trying to define my authenticity, from how I think about myself to how I dress to how I walk and talk, and more. If I had grown up accepting my trans-ness then maybe this would have evolved as part of my identity over the years. Im still pretty fluid in what im trying to get out of this though and how it makes me feel as I discover more about myself, but the need to express some femininity in one form or another is pretty constant.

So yeah, thats it I think. I hope I didnt drone on for too long for you. If you have anything you want to ask then please comment and I will reply where and when I can.

A part time girl x


  1. 'Passing is a myth...'

    Oh, I so get that. On bad days, it's another metaphysical bat to hit ourselves with. Too fat, too square jawed, shoulders like a shot-putter, too tall, too butch (well, that last one would be nice :-) ), etc.

    On good days, and maybe with time, there will be more good days than bad ones: the 'passing' requirement drops. Then, you're down to just make the best of yourself.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey Lynn,

    Thats what im trying to work towards now with reasonable success. Trying to 'pass' or look convincing is pointless, and ive spent a lot of time letting it get to me. But why should I let it? I love this expressing this side of me, and ive wasted enough time now getting miserable over it when I should be taking every opportunity I have to make it a positive experience with what time I have left where I can actually enjoy it. Its a work in progress but im getting there.

    Thanks for the comment Lynn. x

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