Saturday and Sunday mornings were finding me with the familiar smear of the previous nights eyeliner and mascara clinging to my eyelids. I had been living a double life at this point. JT by day and Chloé by night. Loving it so much I’d refuse to wipe away the shadow, instead proudly going off to the coffee shop with my war paint. My daytime attire still not quite feminine, it found me looking more like a hungover rockstar than anything else. A look that always fit me well, I now finally felt like one.
This routine continued through the Summer of 2016 into the Fall. As I began to exploit the platform social media afforded me. I’d regularly post photos in-femme as I ventured out here, there, and everywhere. Always alongside new faces my social life had blown-up as my world kept opening more each day. I had no idea what old friends or family would think, and honestly I didn’t care. I was happy and it was all I could do to contain it! Those photos represented the transformation from a life of misery to one of hope and potential. I wanted people to know this wasn’t a joke, that this was someone that found something amazing!
My mom was along for the ride from the beginning. And as one can imagine caught off guard that I suddenly was taking on a new form. Perplexed although taking it in stride, she was supportive if not completely confused. Whenever we spoke, (which had become a weekly Saturday morning routine at this point) I’d remind her, (quite emphatically at times) that my happiness was through the roof, and that presenting as ‘she’ rather than ‘he’ was a liberation of biblical proportion!
Little did mom know that I was flying by the seat of my maxi-dress rather than following a script of any kind. In effect I too was dipping “my toes” along with everyone else into the pool of change. As it quickly became the norm rather than the exception to any rule.
It was about September when I had my epiphany. Hard to believe it took so long with all that was going on. Hell I had been “feminizing” for nearly three years, and quietly on estrogen the year leading up to this. Yet I was still oblivious to the underlying forces and magnitude of what I was doing. Put simply; you don’t know until you know. And I had no idea.
That was until that fateful morning whilst gazing into my full length mirror. I suddenly saw a figure looking back at me! Emerging from the amorphous mass I had always known, my heart fluttered with contentment as never before. You see I was never happy with my body. Too short, too hairy, not tone enough, big nose, etc.. I never found myself attractive in anyway. Save for my long hair, that I’ve always loved.
A phrase I now know as ‘Gender Dysphoria’ had silently haunted me my entire life. Finding what was in reality a decent looking guy in spiritual shambles. And that black cloud for which forever found me under grey skies. I was an emotional flat-liner, never knowing what happiness felt or looked like. Save for the night I met Robin of course. See my first post titled, “In the middle we find our beginnings” for a sliver of that particular tale. Safe to say, this was even bigger than that!
In that moment of pause brought about by my new figure, would flow a series of images and thoughts reminiscent of The Sixth Sense. Ironically I was taking a similar trip to Bruce Willis, only this was in the right direction! I was fucking alive!!!
Once this domino fell they all did. Those black clouds? They suddenly and completely parted. As it rapidly became clear I was not the boy societies teachings had suggested. Instead falling somewhere else on that beautiful spectrum of color where softness and tenderness thrived! I had always been just as much Yin as Yang. And this epiphany welcomed her home with open arms. She was alive in her new skin and on her terms! “Red Lips” was born that day. Written a couple months later this poem would embody the saliency of my life leading up to that momentous day.
And on December 1, 2016 became the accompaniment to my first official feminine FaceBook photo. Her hat crooked and gaze focused off in the distance, what started out by accident had become as real as the crimson red lips she wore. Hello world, I’m Chloé.