I’ve only met Paige a couple of times, but my impressions of her were that she was very pretty and poised. Her post takes us from the first time she put on a dress, to the well-adjusted and confident person she is now. At the end she offers to help and support others in their quest to be accepted. Her journey to becoming a Transgender woman is worth reading. It will help those who are struggling find hope, and those who are not Transgender understand the courage it takes to face the world and be open about who you are no matter what.
Reflections by Sissy Paige
Recently my wife suggested i take some time to write about components of my journey through life, recognizing that there may be others who are facing many of the same challenges i have and continue to face. So, even if no one reads this, i’m going to take a stab because it will likely help me reflect on where i’ve travelled thus far, which may shed light on where I’m headed.
i remember dressing up as a princess when i was 5 years old (and have a photo that proves it wasn’t just a fantasy), and while i really enjoyed it, i also remember being ridiculed. It was for a made up play at some family gathering. This is my first memory of dressing the way that felt right for me, but i was also rejected by those around me. Lesson learned – if i want to dress how i want, i need to keep it a secret. That started me down the path of building a “solid wall” in my head that would allow me to keep my secrets hidden from everyone else. Little did i know at the time that it’s not healthy to keep a major part of who you are bottled up, repressed and hidden from “real world” interactions with others.
i spent the next 15yrs or so thinking i was the only person in the world with these feelings (this was well before the Internet). It always felt like i was just missing something in my life that could replace the deep-seeded feelings i had of dressing as a girl and being placed in tight bondage. i would collect tight women’s clothing (mostly lingerie and dance apparel), only to purge and throw everything away when i vowed to stop these activities. This happened many times over.
Life was great for a while after getting married and starting a family, but the desires/needs never went away. 7 years of therapy only reinforced what i already knew about myself, and offered no solutions to help me shed this part of me.
Now to my point (and i commend anyone who is still reading this 🙂 Less than two years ago i was in a bad place. i tried going out in public for the first time as Paige to see if i would be accepted, and it didn’t go well. Were it not for my wife who totally supported me that night, i wouldn’t be here today. After that i found some events i could attend as Paige, and the groups were completely accepting of me. i met some great people who provided feedback on things i should change about my look. i did laser on my face to take care of the blue tint on my face. Electrolysis helped with my eyebrows. Girls in the groups helped me with makeup tips, provided suggestions on mannerisms i should change, and tips on fashion. It seems a cliché to say everything is easier when you have a support network…but i can attest to the fact that it was critical for me.
i started 2011 going out in public for the first time, and ended the year having gone out in public around 30 times, and doing my first photo shoot. In 2012 i was fortunate enough to work with quite a few photographers and producers, and was able to participate in and be the damsel-in-distress that i dreamed about since i first dressed up as a princess many years ago.
Less than a month ago i was really struggling with the concepts of “to thine own self be true” and “be the person you were meant to be.” When i thought of the implications of those phrases on my life, it always led me down the path that i needed to fully transition (hormones and SRS surgery) to be the person i was meant to be. Had i realized this 20yrs ago, i probably would have transitioned. But i did not, and now i have a family and career. So, what i realized this past weekend is that for me, being true to myself means recognizing that i have two personas. i am fortunate to have a wife who accepts Paige and allows me to do the things that i really love to do. But, i do not need to be Paige full time to be a happy person. My male side is very fulfilling in different ways, and i need to appreciate and celebrate that fact.
i also realized that having this wall that i was hiding behind most of my life was NOT healthy. i recently told members of my family that i am transgender, and they were completely accepting and supportive. This really surprised me, but also helped me understand that my priorities were skewed.
Now, i doubt anyone is still be reading this…but in case someone is, my REFLECTION is that at the end of the day, life is pretty freaking amazing. You can feel totally down, seeing no hope of realizing your dreams one moment, only to find (at least in my case), that in very little time, your wildest dreams all of a sudden start coming to fruition.
Lesson learned: never give up, don’t underestimate the impact of having true friends that really know you, and figure out what it means to be true to yourself. If you find yourself in a similar situation to what i described, please feel free to reach out to me. i definitely do not have all the answers, but i am pretty good at listening. Sometimes having someone who can relate to your situation can make all the difference in the world.
You can contact Paige via her profile page on Fetlife https://fetlife.com/users/307549
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