I have been emptying a storage container which I have not accessed for about ten years. In it there was furniture, books photographs, family records and included boxes filled with stuff from clearing my parents’ house shortly before my items went into storage too.

There were photographs from my wedding and literally hundreds of photographs from my previous life. The one where i was persuading everybody I was a nice guy, whereas deep down well and truly buried I knew that I was only putting on a front. I had this terrible secret and looking back in hindsight I was very conscious of making sure that everything I did was as it should be, conventional. I pursued the traditional path presenting an image of a young professional. I was always “nice” not losing my temper or letting anything occur which might suggest I was anything but a decent young man. I went out  of my way to be helpful.

I dressed secretly, I wore lingerie under my suit and used to “cottage” not for sexual encounters but to display the fact I was feminine and dressed in this sexy underwear wanting people to admire me, to acknowledge I was female. I sought out the company of sex workers and worked as a companion escort in a Gentleman’s club ( no sexual favours ) just flirtatious conversation and selling overpriced champagne. It never occurred to me that this was might be considered strange behaviour.

It is so different now. I have transitioned fully, taking 18 months to become comfortable with myself. I have started working in an office and am accepted for who I am. One of the girls asked me recently do you have any pics of you before transition? On seeing a photo that frankly was after I had started to feminise slightly, her exclamation was simply “that is so wrong, that’s not you”. What has happened since transition and my acceptance of myself is that I do not need the props anymore. I do not need the macho car, I like a nice car for what it is but not for what it says about me or more correctly about my status/gender.

The most significant change is that I don’t have to pretend about anything. There may be an ongoing argument about safe spaces for women and yes I find that difficult. It doesn’t matter because I am a transwoman and that is the end of it. I am no longer pretending. I no longer need possessions to build an image. Not everyone will accept me, some will dislike me for what I stand for, without even knowing me. The important thing is I accept me and can now do my best to lead a genuine honest life.

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