Friday, November 11, 2011

Me Neither

Stana and I are on the same page.

I believe, no matter what our destination might be, we all are following the same path from "I care" to "I don't care."

I've written about this before. I think it's important.

Think about where you are on your trans-journey.  Now think about where you've been, not where you're going.

I go out dressed, too occasionally.  The first step out the door, or the first step beyond my comfort zone, is always a little anxiety-producing.  Maybe some day that will stop.  Maybe not.  That's the way forward.

But I can still remember the first time I went out by myself.  I went to the mall, and other shoppers probably thought I was an escaped prisoner.  I watched everyone, to see if I knew someone.  I kept to myself.  I didn't interact with shopkeepers... in fact, I only went into department stores where it was unlikely a salesperson would say hi to me.  I cared what everyone thought about me... even people I didn't care about at all!  It took me ages to step out of my car.  Care, in this context, translates to fear.

My goal is to not care.  I've had a few small, almost accidental, frontal attacks on changing "care" to "don't care."

One was when I showed a picture of Meg to my manager and she asked if it was for a party or "something that you do, sometimes?" and I admitted it was the latter.  In the post I mentioned this (one of my first posts!) that that was incredibly liberating.  Instead of going a single step on the "I don't care" path I took a football-field sized leap.

Another was when I had my past-life regression and, when the hypnotist prodded me about ever wearing costumes, I admitted to him and the ten women in the room (including one friend) that I crossdressed.  And that's another early early post!

I think going with my friend from New York to the Jon Stewart rally last year was another big jump, although he just assumed it was for Halloween, and my wife's friend who was with us assumed the same, even though I made hinting jokes every time I spoke to her for weeks afterwards.

A number of years ago, I was in a K-Mart buying some panties and possibly women's socks ~ I don't recall the details.  I had left the cart for a moment to look at something else and I ran into a friend and her kids.  We chatted, I made some lame excuse for looking for a computer or similar thing and I abandoned the cart.  I cared and I didn't buy something I wanted.

Once, I was walking towards a Marshall's and I ran into two sisters I worked with years earlier.  They had just come out of the Marshall's.  We chatted, we caught up a bit, and I continued walking... towards the nearby CompUSA.  I cared and missed a shopportunity.

A couple of days ago, I was in an Ulta.  I wanted to get an eyelash serum (more in another post) and an eyeliner pencil.  A young lady said "can I help you?"  The I care me would have said "no, I'm just looking around."  Instead, I said, "yes.  I'm looking for the L'Oreal eyelash serum."  She helped me find it and I said "I'm also looking for a decent eyeliner pencil."  She pulled out one she liked and said "you just twist it... you never need to sharpen it."  I said "I've never had luck with those.  It seems the tip just breaks off."  She found me a regular pencil, which I bought.  I chatted with the cashier, but not about makeup, exactly.  She did ask me if I wanted to join whatever Ulta club there is and I declined.  But I don't care.

When I was in Sierra Vista, I walked into a wig shop next door to my hotel and made clear that I was looking for a wig for myself.  I don't care.

After I assembled my charm bracelet, it sat on my dresser for a couple of weeks before I wore it.  That was a quick trip from I care to I don't care.

I think I care comes from the peer pressure that started when you started going to school.  I also think we should outgrow that need to fit in.  I think it's not only liberating, it helps you get what you want and what you need.  "Um, it's for my sister.  She's about my size" gets you an ill-fitting dress.  "Can I try this on?" gets you the dress you want, in your size.

I haven't reached "I don't care" all of the time, even with strangers.  I still glance around before I hold up a skirt to see if the length is what I want.  I still look down the aisle before I peruse the women's shoes in Payless, but that might be habit.  I now go into various women's shoe stores such as DSW without much thought.  Baby steps on the path.

I'd love to know what your biggest leap from I care to I don't care was.

Care for people.  Care for animals.  Care for those in need.  Care for the ones you love.  As for what the people around me think?  I don't care.

And make your own priorities.  My wife would be upset if I was out... sometimes I think that's the only thing that keeps me as far in the closet as I am.  But if it came out (like at the hypnotist)... I don't care.

And happy 11/11/11 everyone! That's a once-in-a-lifetime.

I'll be writing about Erin and Liz and my fantastic Saturday starting Monday.  Cartoons for the weekend.


  1. I'm afraid to state that I am way closer to "I Care" than not. In fact, events in my life the last few years have moved me much further away from "I Don't Care" than I used to be (that's a story for another day).

    When I finally screw up enough courage, I have no trouble going in to Avenue, Lane Bryant or Catherine's (BBW retail outlets here in the midwest). That's as far as I can get right now on the "I Don't Care" continuum. The "I Care" pull-back from this spot is that it does take me weeks to get to the point where I can do this, and I would never admit that my purchases were for myself.

  2. This was a great post. I agree that the "care/don't care" equation is very important.

    One interesting and common theme in your blog and in the blogs of many others is the "slow stretching of the envelop". Where is our 'dare' line in getting out and dealing with the civilian population.

    Of course, we are dealing with multiple issues that include, time, opportunity, attire, opportunity, etc.

    I am not sure I can give you an answer to your question. My envelop is not as stetched as yours and many others. Recently I have been able to get out of the house once a month or so and have gone to a few LGBT bars and clubs that are accepting of CDs. The first time I went I froze and could not get out of the car. On another early attempt I stayed in the parking lot until nature called and I left the lot to find a park for personal relief. I eventually did go back to that club and go in and had a great time. Now I have the confidence from experience of parking the car, checking my makeup and heading into the place.

    I find that the best I can accomplish are short baby steps when I am in a dress and heels.

  3. Hi Meg,
    This post is wonderful! That has been the biggest hurdle that I have had to cross-the one from caring what others thought to not caring. Once I conquered that fear, the world became much larger for Janet!
    Thanks for the worderful post!
    Janet Kinnett

  4. Hi Meg, I have be going out for dinner- drinks & into Manhattan as Diane. Not just shopping all this in the last year ! I don,t Care ,Its wonderful!

  5. Hi Meg,
    Thanks for the wonderful post. I saw myself in everything you wrote. Once I "stepped out of the car" I discovered that most people didn't notice me or, if they did, didn't care. I'm known to the SA's in the stores I frequently buy from and even in male mode I've made exchanges and could honestly say it didn't fit me. Keep the encouraging word coming!

  6. I never have had a problem buying things. I remember once a salelady looked me over as I approched the register, I just said it's great that I know "her" size! Remember the no more lies, when they ask who's this for.. "say it's for Meg!"

  7. Hi, Meg ... the most liberating step along the way so far has been sitting in a coffee shop, drinking coffee. That is something that I love to do in drab, and something I've been wanting to do as myself for a long time. It became kind of a "thing" to me, a milestone in my mind. I've written about them in a couple of post over at my blog, the first part went up today, the second tomorrow or Monday. The actual doing of it proved more interactive, scary and liberating than I'd intended ... film at 11.

  8. Readers, you can find Lizzy's blog at

  9. Meg- What a wonderful post!! :)
    I love the way you've written this, and all the examples. While I still care more than not care, I've certainly made progress (heck, buying a wig certainly was obvious, lol!)
    Love your sense of humor about it all!
    Sara Elise


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