I am a woman. But what does that mean to me?
What is my definition of what it is to be a woman? What is my relevance to being feminine? I spent the majority of my life being, a husband, a father, a son, a brother; I spent twenty years in the Army band system playing music. I am a teacher, a boy scout leader, a healer. I give as much compassion as I receive. I grew up in a household with four sisters; my sisters cleaned house and helped with the cooking and washing and folding of the clothes; I didn’t have to do that as a child. But I watched from afar and learned at my mothers knee to be tender, caring, gentle, loving child.
When I stepped away from my male life path, to live authentically as a woman, I was still a loving, compassionate, person who reached across the line to help others. I fathered three children, supported and encouraged them to try different things, be in the band and learn music, be in a scouting program. Apply bandages to their scrapes and cuts, hold and nurse them when they were hurt or sick. Encouraged learning new and different things and watching them try and fail. So I'll never know what it feel like to be pregnant, I experienced it vicariously with my wife 3 pregnancies. I will never know what it feel like to loose one's virginity as a young girl; I surrendered mine when I was 20; a one shot experience; not the same and I am not suggesting that it would be. But when one looses their virginity, a piece of their conscience being is lost. Now, as a trans woman who has found a new love; the way we show and express our love is still satisfying, but different in so many ways.
To be married with another female is to see that the house is cleaned, bathrooms are scrubbed, and floors swept and mopped and dust work is done. Must see that the yard work is done every week, lawn mowed and raked, bushes trimmed sidewalks swept. All the above needs and wants and work done can be done by those who can do them, male or female; doesn’t matter. We work our little garden, care for our plants and flowers. We tend to the business at hand; what needs to be done; share what love passes between us.
Yet being female, I get to care for children in our home. I get to run through the sprinklers with them on a hot summer’s day; I get to sit on the floor and play with My Little Pony, or build castles to towns; I get to fix them lunches and make sure they are fed. I get to read stories to them or sit with them as we watch movies, or just listen to them explain how something works, or is made, or how bugs and birds make their homes. I get to watch their faces fill with their excitement, and wonder, and joy.
Being female now, I get to dress up and wear all those wonderful, colorful, shear and delightful dresses and go out with my honey to the symphony or plays, or to the movies. I can now wear those beautiful shoes, have my hair make up and nails done, make other women jealous, make other women smile, because they see another woman. Being a trans woman, especially if your life is revealed by others, means being denied jobs, having men look at you differently; with suspect. Having other people try to make you conform, become invisible, having your life ignored because you can't.
The one thing I didn’t expect when I transitioned was that I developed breast cancer after only 14 months on hormones. I had achieved great results and was looking forward to having the breast I had always wished for. I waited 56 years before I started my transition and after only a fraction of time did I watch the physical changes happen with hormones. I was only using the estrodol patch with 0.25 mg of estrogen, and I developed cancer. Treating the cancer meant that I had to stop taking all forms of hormones and block the hormones that my body produced naturally; but it didn’t stop my transition to womanhood. Living in womanhood without one of her breasts doesn’t stop her from being feminine. Being a woman is more of a mindset within a body than just dressing as one. It’s a being of tenderness, caressing, listening, caring, nursing, and being women. Being female.