I have become aware how often one becomes aware of another layer peeling off the onion. There have been so many changes, layers peeled on the journey of transition. Each time a layer is peeled you feel real progress has been made.

I have been out full time for almost four years now. At first I was very conscious and having to “brave it” every time I went out. Then it became okay and although conscious and hyper aware it was less of an ordeal. Over the years it has become easier, like everything practice makes it easier, less threatening. Your fears become less as experience shows you that your worst fears have not materialised. Of course that does not take them away, I am always conscious that they are in the back of my mind. It is just that I do not allow them to rule what I do. 

That being said I do take precautions not to put myself in situations that are potentially risky to my safety, as I now realise do women generally. Again something I had not taken on board before transition the extent that women are vulnerable and do take precautions for their safety. 

One thing I have noticed that has happened with the pandemic and the consequent isolation is that I had become out of practice in being out and about. The first few times caused more anxiety than I had felt prior to the pandemic. 

Returning to the layers, my dress sense has changed as the years have gone passed. What I thought was appropriate at first has altered. It was important for me to always wear skirts, dresses. A symbol of my femininity, yet if you walk down the average street you will be lucky to see anyone in a dress or skirt. I visited my daughter some time back which involved going on a ferry to the Isle of Wight. I was the only person on the ferry wearing a skirt. It was fine, just something I observed. When on the island we went for a walk, had lunch at a restaurant, walked some more, passed loads of people….not one dress or skirt. More recently walking down the High Street, waiting in the Doctors surgery, no dresses, no skirts.

So what layer has peeled away now. I realise I am no longer needing to wear dresses to feel feminine. I have joined modern day womanhood in jeans and trainers. When I first transitioned there was no chance at all of me being able to go there, none. However it is not just the clothes that have changed. It seems that somehow I have accepted the change in me, I do not need to wear symbols of femininity, to have a badge, a uniform. At last I can just be me. Will there be more layers…..probably. I must wait and see.

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