When I think about all the time I lost, I get depressed. I can’t remember the last time I treated myself for a nice outfit and got dressed up before now. I know it was some time before I got together with my ex-wife, and that was in 2005. I want to say that I had “quit” years before. So it’s been ten to thirteen years since Stefani made an appearance. The best years erased in a futile hope that I could just be a normal guy.
No wonder I was so depressed.
I think I look okay now, but I’m still over-weight, and I have the upper torso of a 40-year-old dude. It’s amazing what lighting and camera angles can achieve! I have made a few changes lately, the main being cutting out sodas completely. I lost a pant size as a result. I would like to lose a little more, especially around the belly. I may have to cut out sugar, or gasp! start exercising!
Oh the horror of horrors! Exercising is the bane of my existence. I hate it. I get enough of a work out at work, but I know that I have got to start, if nothing else for my health. I also need to do some strength training, but not so much that I bulk up. That’s the last thing I want to do! Well, maybe bulk up my legs and butt. They could totally use it.
When I was in my early twenties, when my best friend first started showing me the ropes about doing make-up, it didn’t take much. My skin was flawless, I didn’t have much in the way of a beard, so covering it up wasn’t much of a hassle, and I was thin as a rail. Seriously, I could pass as a woman (I think) and I would go out sometimes, even during the day! It felt so good to be out, wearing shorts with pantyhose and a sleeveless shirt. Now, were you to look at me in public, it’s so obvious that I’m not a woman. Damn my advancing years!
I guess I could continue whining and moaning about the lost years during which I kept Stefani locked securely away, unknown and unseen. In the end, I grappled with a feeling of loss, of anger, and depression. It took me a long time to realize that I couldn’t keep me locked away, safe from prying eyes. I had to come to terms with the fact that I’m not a man, in the same way I’m not a woman. I’m somehow neither and both. Call it transgender, call it gender fluid, I really don’t care about defining myself with arbitrary terms. What I do care about is being faithful to who I am as a person.
Above all, and I want to be crystal clear about this, I am a human being, and deserve the respect thereof that I’m entitled to. I am both male and female, and I made a mistake of trying to narrowly define myself as one to the exclusion of the other, and I suffered for over a decade, in denial that half of myself was missing. With all this talk about gender and transitioning – thank you Caitlyn Jenner! – we have been thrust into the glaring light of public opinion, and the amount of vitriol coming from those who believe we chose to be this way is astounding. What bothers me is the amount of vitriol coming from our side!
Maybe I’m naive in hoping that we can move past this. All I want is to respect and to be respected. I want us all to respect one another, even if we’re not altogether comfortable with the other. I have no desire to “push” my lifestyle onto others, whatever the fuck that means. I need to make the best use of my time going forward to be myself, to blossom and welcome the sun’s warming glow illuminate who I am. I am Stefani, and I love this part of me.