I’ve been discovered! I’m a little uneasy about it and I’m unsure what to do next. Let me explain the situation. I was at work on Monday, when a gentleman walked into my place of employment. Since it’s a retail establishment, I asked if he needed help. He asked if we carried something, to which I replied that it was on aisle X.
Several minutes passed, and I continued working on a small project. When I turned down the aisle, he was standing there and I decided to see if he needed further assistance. He did. I went though my spiel, telling him about the product he was looking at, directions for use and the like. I answered his questions and offered whatever advice I knew to give him. With that he thanked me.
All the while, other customers and co-workers came and went. I didn’t think anything of it. It’s par for the course. After he thanked me, I moved to get back to my project, and finding the aisle deserted, save the two of us, he came and thanked me again, introduced himself, and asked me if I had a friend named Stefani. I froze.
What could I do? I knew I could lie, but I’m not much for lying. I’m private, but I try to be as honest as possible. So, as casually as I could, I replied that she was indeed my friend. He replied by saying that he also had a friend who was interested in meeting her. He discreetly handed me a slip of paper, which looked to me to have been torn from a yellow legal pad, with a single email address. Understanding, I dropped all pretenses for a moment and told him the I would email her when I got the chance.
We’ve emailed each other a few times, agreeing to meet. I’ve suggested a few times that I’m available to meet for coffee. I want it to be somewhere public, some place where I’m free to leave should the situation call for it.
At first glance, it looks to me to be a simple need for acceptance from a fellow crossdresser. As hard as it may be to believe, I don’t have any CD or TG friends in real life, though I follow a few online, and a few follow me. What I don’t have is any personal relationships with any. I’ve never met another CD. I’m the only one I know. I’ve never had to deal with that dynamic before.
I’ve never had had to see another man wearing women’s clothing. When ever I myself become Stefani, there’s always a moment when I look in the mirror, disgusted that I, as a man, would even consider doing something so ludicrous as dressing as a woman. Will I think that meeting another person like me? Will it force me to deal with my own innate prejudices, ones that are ridiculously hypocritical to even consider? Even admitting this here scares me. I need acceptance, so perhaps I need to learn to accept others, and as such, learn to accept myself.
But to leave this vain philosophizing for a moment, what about my safety? What about this necessary barrier between Stefani and the secret identity I wear for a living? I can’t have people looking for Stef, disrupting my life or interfering with my job. I allow someone to out me to the public or to my family. I deal with enough misogyny and harassment online. I don’t need it to spill into the world beyond.
So I’m at a crossroads. Do I continue my blog and my other social network activities, or do I delete everything, shutter his blog, and disappear into the ether, to be as if I never existed? It scares me. I don’t want to be a statistic on some database somewhere. I don’t want to be disowned by my family. This is a serious breach of my privacy, one that I need to deal with immediately.
I haven’t made up my mind, but I’ll have to do something soon. I just don’t know what.