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Day 29: Subtle Segues

2014 October 21
by Jen DiGiacomo

It’s Monday and I’m still mulling over my Maryland coming-out parties from the weekend.

New York City has been so supportive, so overwhelmingly happy for me the past three weeks — alas, I can’t say that this weekend felt anywhere near as supportive.

I mean, Saturday went well, but the “mint julep” quip fuels my fear that my friend’s vision of my girl mode is a little more Southern Belle than I’d like. It really shouldn’t bother me — how do I know I’m not projecting my fears onto his loyal support? And yet it still irks me on some primal level to think that people might believe that this is about frilly clothes and not about being who I am.

And truth to be told, I’m not into frilly. Lesbian chic is the term I toss about. I don’t even know if that means anything… but for me, and don’t forget I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, it’s jeans and boots and leggings and t-shirts and hoodies and turtleneck sweaters. And lots of black. In other words, like half the women walking around New York City. Which either means lesbian chic is the worst descriptor ever, or New York City is 25% lesbian.

Now Sunday… Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, for those of you who remember Bosom Buddies. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the adversarial reaction, the push back. I know my therapist will tell me, “Give people time.” That they’ve known me as a guy for a long time and they just can’t make the shift immediately. Give them time.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve been coming out to people in boy mode. It gives me time to explain what is going on without the visual taking all the air out of the room. I get to tell them. If I came out whilst in girl mode, I would be showing, not telling. And the air thing.

No, I think this is the right way to go. But still, I never expected to be told I’m not transgendered in the process of coming out. I didn’t realize proofs and notarized membership cards were required.

The good news is that I’m not prone to dwell on things. Or beat a dead horse. Or not let things go. Nope, not this cat.

My non-dwelling-on, not-dead-horse-beating, letting-go thoughts are interrupted by my calendar reminding me that an old AOL coworker turned realtor is coming by to help me assess my house later in the day. Should I sell it? Rent it? What repairs are needed? What’s the market like? What’s the capital of Assyria?

Yeah, nothing like a subtle segue.

So let’s just cut to my old AOL coworker-turned-realtor friend arriving at my house a few hours later. The two of us haven’t seen each other in probably 10 years, and after a bit of small talk, she suggests we do a walk-through of my house. A walk-through that includes my non-closeted bedroom.

No, I explain, I’ve got some news to share before we can explore with impunity. So quickly I leap into stuttering, then… transgendering. Now after my experiences this weekend, I’m not sure how this is going to play out, but she breaks into a big grin and I know it’s going to be okay.

She is genuinely happy for me, and with my hair a little disheveled, she makes my day by telling me that I’m going to make one cute woman. She then frowns and begins to protest, “Not that I’m hitting on you!”

I can’t help but laugh because while her clothes don’t scream lesbian chic, she is married to one. Okay, that sounded better in my head, before writing it down. But you know what I mean.

I give her the grand tour of the house and when we get to my bedroom and closet therein, she smiles and says, I guess you have a thing for shoes! It’s a wonderful comment that would have given me defensive fits two months earlier, but now it is so welcome and soooooo true.

The tour complete, she makes her goodbyes, but not before promising a dinner get-together one night soon. A girls night out.

Who knows, maybe Maryland won’t be so unsupportive after all. And all I had to do was give it time.

Note: When I began transitioning in 2014, I was known by my nickname DiG, which sufficed until I learned my mom had chosen Jennifer had my birth gone differently. So for historical sake, I leave my posts and podcasts as originally conceived, but know that my name is and apparently always was Jen.
Day 28: Boxes
Day 30: New York City Comraderie
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