The "Narrative" (Part 1)
My story is not a story of a girl knowing she was trans from a young age. I did not even entertain the idea that such a thing could be possible until I was old enough to drink. I ask that you sit a while and listen. Throughout high-school, I always enjoyed the girl talk and had joined the color guard (as my family jokingly called it, Woman Guard). The moments when the other girls would help me do makeup were always magical to me. When I had the chance to wear effeminate clothing I relished every moment. Even through this I still did not entertain even the idea that my gender was anything other than how I was born.
Years later I had Sabrina reached out to me, she was visiting from Australia. Breanna and I decided to host her stay for a couple of days while she was in the area. This was the first time I was really introduced to the idea of dressing up and showing the world the girl that was inside.
I had not felt this excited or happy in a long time. I remembered on this night a promise I had made to myself. That I would never hide who I was. That I could be a light shining on a hilltop for everyone to see. Over the next many moons Breanna and I talked about what this could and would mean. At the time I was rolling in emotions, lost in dreams, my head so far in the clouds of possibilities that I was afraid of what would happen once I finally came down.
It was at this time that I realized I needed time to myself to really take a look at what I needed, where I wanted to go and how to accomplish this. My wife of 3+ years while having been supportive of dressing up still had questions about the next steps that I simply could not answer.
I spent the next few months testing boundaries at home and work how far I could push. I began to sing on my way to work every day training my voice to be higher. Painting my nails and trying on the wife's clothing. One day it was too far. I still don't understand the reasons why but my manager at the time told me I was being let go. Devastated I messaged him, virtually shouting about how he was homophobic and did not deserve his position. I knew however that I needed to work and made a decision. This was a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to finally explore in my own head (and without the influence of other people) what I really wanted I planned a trip back to Oklahoma. Emotionally charged Breanna and I decided to separate during this time.
Moving back to Oklahoma for a few months I went to work at my previous job. Waitress for Denny's. This was where I experienced my second hindrance to transition. My old boss had heard through the grapevine about this "Rose" and told me that I could work but Rose was not allowed in the building. I initially agreed however continued to at home to dress up and reached out to Bobbi & Jean. I was enamored with this entirely new world of possibilities and wanted to explore every inch. I learned how they were the first legally married Lesbian couple before (and even at that time) it was legal to do so. I was told that I would need to learn to be cautious when They shared how important it was to have support and to know that I was not alone. I never spoke with them again, however, left both excited and frightened about what it would mean. And then it seemed to happen all at once.
It felt like a pendulum has been pulled to its apex of masculinity and let drop swinging completely over to femininity. It grew harder at work to constantly be addressed by "Sir" or "Mister". True to my word however I was not going to let Rose out... In front of the customers. With my co-workers, I began to tell my story. On my drink cups, I would label them Rosa (my initial choice of name) and the seating rotation charts at the front bore my name as well. This was a breach of the agreement my manager had set up with me. At least in his eyes. His request had been do not let Rose out in the building where I had interpreted to not express to the customers that may or may not be understanding. I tried for a bit desperately to pull back.
The damn had broken and reservoir of feelings and gender confusion could no longer be held back. I started bringing in a purse to keep my phone and other personal items and pushed back at the mention of it. I pushed telling him that if I could not bring in a purse then the other girls would not be allowed either. Tensions continued to build between us. As a manager, he was afraid of what this would do to the customer base that was coming in. I was blinded by this flood of finally being open. One day it became too much. Again my name had been placed on the seating chart as Rosa and his own limit of tolerance broke. I was demanded to see him in the office at that very moment even while I had just seated a new table and was preparing drinks. I told him that I would be in as soon as I served the drinks however this was unacceptable to him. After a brief argument, he told me to leave. I told my co-workers what the drinks were, walked to the table and advised them I had just been fired because my manager did not like my name.
A few days later I spoke with the General manager of the store and worked out a deal where I could write any name I desired on my drink cups so long as it did not show up in front of the customers. I was not to have any different names on the seating charts. This was at least a compromise so I began to work the morning shifts with her instead. This time I was true to the agreement completely. Well almost. After a few weeks, I was pulled aside and asked if I would go back to the night shift as some of the Sunday morning crowds were mentioning me specifically as being "too different". I agreed and started trying to save even more money than ever so that I could afford a car. After a few months, I finally had saved up a thousand dollars to buy a used car and began to plan my next steps. I wanted to move back to Utah, in hope of re-igniting things between myself and my now ex-wife.
Upon return, I started trying to find a place to live, find a Job and begin once again to move forward with simply life. Breanna and I it seemed were working better with friends and ended up deciding to not start dating again. As such I needed my own place. I found a room for rent in a house next to one of the colleges and realized that I had no other connections in Salt lake. After hitting up meetup.com I found The Crone's Hollow and Stealth Coffee. I went for the first time amazed at this diverse group of people. Here I met some of the most important people in my life. At the same time, I found a job in door-to-door sales.
I began to take sales trips out of state sometimes for months at a time just trying to carve out some small living. I treasured more than anything coming home even if it was for a few days at a time. My pendulum of gender was starting to level out. No more ultra feminine, no more super masculine simply me. It was during this time that I met Durriken, George, Christian, Katrina, Jana and many others that would become my foundation during these trips. Durriken taught me how to find a safe place in my own head, that it was ok to be male, female or even genderless. I started to date George soon after who made me realize that even though my body was not what I wanted, I could still enjoy what I possessed. He coined the term for me "Ambigenderous", that is being able to float between both genders. Katrina and Jana helped show me how to be a girl.
Things were good for me when I was home. The road was a different story. Months at a time I was holed up with as many as 8 boys in one hotel room, working ourselves to the bone trying to just get one sale. On the bus rides out to meet the team I often tried to make myself as girly as I could so that I could just so that I could stand to be out for a few weeks at a time.
When we got back to the hotels at night I would wait for the others to sleep and then change into a dress or skirt. I was still afraid of what they would do to me should it ever be found out I was anything except a boy. But then after a few months, I would get a break so that I could recharge my soul. I would come home to a hotel room or stay on a friend's couch.
Then the unexpected came. My older sister reached out to me wanting to take a road-trip so that she could come out as being trans to friends and family. I was ecstatic and agreed to travel with her. We met up in Arizona and traveled over to Texas, then up to Oklahoma. We got out makeup done together there. I loved feeling pretty again. Our next stop was at Mom and Dad's house in Missouri. I waited anxiously for them to finish talking. This could be a very interesting/difficult Christmas. I never asked how tings went with that talk but realized soon that things did not go as well as hoped. I knew then that I wanted to plan out carefully when I would tell my family of my own decisions. As we slowly made our way back towards my home in Utah the trip went much better with friends showing us both love and acceptance (even through confusion).
I then went back to work for one of my last sales trips. It was both the best and hardest sales trip I have ever had. I knew that no longer would I try to cover-up my Identity. From previous experience, I was terrified that I would not be allowed but could not convince myself to hide. Thomas started calling me Rose after I was more forward in putting on makeup in the mornings, wearing skirts to bed at night. My favorite moment happened in Colby WY when a teenage girl answered the door. I asked if her parents were available and she went inside and said "Dad, there is a bo... gir.... ummm Person at the door". It was mission accomplished, someone was starting to see inside.