Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Twin Has Left The Building

I was perusing Christine Daniels Woman In Progress blog the other day. She has a segment in which she takes some of the questions and comments she receives from readers and answers them.

One of the questions asked by a reader was how she felt about Mike (her name prior to transition). That got my brain churning about the subject as well.

She doesn't miss Mike and I don't miss 'The Twin' (what I call my 'imitation of a male life' phase) either.

The Twin was a smart, nice but painfully shy person up until the point I transitioned in 1993. The Twin had very few close male friends but lots of female friends back in the day. I had two special women during my school years that wanted to be more than that. One I'm still in contact with and we've known each other since junior high, the other I met when I started high school. I had several when I worked at CAL that wanted to be more than friends there as well and I think about them from time to time.

I was spending so much time trying to suppress Monica that it didn't leave myself any time and energy to just focus on doing what I needed to do to make my dreams happen, much less figure out what I wanted to do. I also discovered that the harder I fought to suppress the urge to be her, the stonger that desire to be her became.

I was so painfully shy that early in my time at JJ in the fall of 1977, my father found out about a dance being held at my high school when the sponsors of it called the station and asked him to DJ it. I wasn't planning on going and adamantly told him that. He was going to force me to attend it until my mother intervened.

The other thing that was holding me back romantically was that I had more than a clue by the time high school rolled around that I was dealing with transgender issues. I just hadn't accepted the truth yet and was fighting it, even though I was crossdressing four times a week, adding makeup to my routine, painting red, pink or clear nail polish on my toes and when my class schedule didn't have PE on it would sometimes wear panties and panty hose to school under my jeans just to keep Monica placated. I almost did drag during my senior year for homecoming week and wish I had.

It's also ironic that in my graduation photo I was wearing face powder. The shine from my face was so overpowering to the point where my photographer Juanita Williams pulled her powder compact out of her purse and applied some of it to my face.

The internal tug of war during my teen years over who would control this body was dragging my grades down as well. I had a 3.8 when I left junior high but had slipped to a 3.0 by the time my senior year hit. I still managed to graduate with honors despite that.

Despite all my drama, the low self-esteem days and futile attempts to build a Berlin Wall around my heart, The Twin was still getting attention from biosistahs. That was true at UH and after I left college and started working for CAL.

The time at CAL was a mixed bag as well. I loved my job and the travel perks but it was torture as well. Here was a situation in which I worked at a place on a daily basis surrounded by beautiful, smart, college-educated professional sistahs and Latinas (yes, The Twin got attention from Latinas as well) and all I could think about was how jealous I was because I WASN'T them. Don't even get me started on the beautiful women, female co-workers and celebrities from all over the world that transited my gates during the 14 years I spent at IAH.

When I lost my virginity at 26 I was upset afterwards because I was jealous of the sistah I was intimately pleasing at the time. I was also coming to the realization during the 80's that I didn't want to drag a biosistah into my situation.

But don't think they didn't give it their best shots. ;) Just as the Berlin Wall had ingenious people engineer sucessful escapes past it, I had various women during the 80's and early 90's who attempted to breach the wall around my heart and managed to capture it for a little while as well.

Up until the time I finally had enough, had my two year relationship from Hades end and made the moves to transition, I felt guilt over my perception that I was taking a nice Black 'man' out of circulation. But I eventually realized that if I wasn't comfortable in that role, it wasn't fair to have whatever sistah who was romantically interested in having The Twin as her hubby deal with something she wasn't going to be prepared for either. But one thing I did confess to the women that were interested in me during the 2000 reunion and after I transitioned at CAL was that I should have let them decide whether The Twin was worth their time.

I'm now a happy (about 98% of the time), healthy, contributing member of society ready to do her part and contribute her talents to uplift the race.

The Twin wasn't all bad. I have some wonderful memories growing up. I traveled, found myself in some interesting situations and did a lot of fun things when I wasn't depressed. I hope that the biowomen that did get the opportunity to meet, love and go out with The Twin enjoyed those times. I hope they found The Twin to be an honest, loving, kind, straight-shooter of a person. Those are qualities that I broght with me when I transitioned. I also hope that they considered The Twin to be a gentleman and a loyal friend in a world that doesn't have very many of those.

So do I want to go back to being in The Twin's shoes? Nope, I love the three inch pumps and stylish clothes I'm strutting my stuff in just fine. In fact, if it were possible for me to go back in time I would have transitioned in high school or my early college years.

As I told my family and friends and reiterated a few years ago, The Twin has left the building and ain't coming back.

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