I have recently been pondering “coming out” as Caden to some friends. Not on the grand scale of telling everyone I know, just a few very important friends. Two of the friends are very close female friends from back when I was in law enforcement. Let’s call them Rachel and Renee. I worked with Rachel, and we’ve been friends ever since. Renee and I have been close friends since she checked my partner and I out as a suspicious vehicle while I was undercover, and we were on a surveillance operation. I’ve known Rachel for about eleven years and Renee for twelve.
I’ve told the two of them many secret and private matters over the years, but never a private matter of this magnitude. I’ve left law enforcement and have no desire to go back, but I do stay in contact with some people that are mutual friends with these two ladies. I do not necessarily worry about them saying anything to anyone; I’m just sort of trying to process my thoughts, and justify my desire to tell them about it.
I trust them implicitly with my life. I know that if I was in danger, they would be the ones I’d want to have my back. The same holds true in my secrets/ private matters, and our friendships. So please do not think it is a matter of trust. It just boils down to fear, possibly of rejection, but also much more. I also know their love for me transcends that. But how many times have we heard of loving family and friends who shunned an otherwise loved family member. So it is still a cause for concern.
Then there is “Drug” and “Chesty.” The only one of those two with the accurate nickname is Chesty. But they were both oddly enough named that by my phone. I think they should call it autocorrupt, not autocorrect. I have not known them quite as long as Rachel or Renee. I’d say I’ve known them six years. They are a new married couple, with a newborn child. Drug is my best male friend, our senses of humor are in complete sync and he’s sort of a weird mixture of a “man’s man” and a hipster. So I am not entirely sure how he would take it. Chesty is a beautiful cheerleader girly girl/ fashionista type. I’m not sure how well either of them would take it, or if they would want me around their child confusing things. But I could respect that, but obviously, one of the reasoning’s for coming out is to help this side of me be more real, but also to expand social options. My hope is that if I do come out that they would be willing to socialize with me while en-femme. My friendship with Drug is probably the most satisfying male friendship I’ve had in my adult life.by satisfying, I mean; fulfilling, rewarding, valued, not just empty or for show. He is a true friend, and in my life, and in this life in general, THAT has true value. All the more reason to not damage that relationship, on would surmise. Another downside to telling Drug is that he presently works at and is a rising supervisor at a facility that I will be trying for a job at in a few years. The last thing I’d want to do is put him in an awkward situation or risk my job prospects there once I’m out of school.
Then there is Molly, my Girlfriend’s co-worker/ supervisor. I think highly of her and enjoy her company when she is out with my GF and I. I just have some pause here, as I would hate to cause my GF any problems where she works. Of course there were some recent revelations from Molly the other night while we were all out partying that would complicate matters in their own for Molly, but also make me feel it may be safe to confide in her, that she may have some understanding of the less than usual. There is another reason I would like to confide in Molly, and I tell myself it’s a selfless reason; to my knowledge, my GF has only confided in one person about my dressing. She confided in an old college friend who lives in the approximate area of the west coast… I don’t think I can be any vaguer there. My hope is by telling Molly, my Girlfriend would have someone closer she could easily talk to and confide in. Would it work? Who’s to say; this is all rather new territory for me. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of people who know about me. And two of those never met Caden, just my lingerie wearing male counterpart.
As you’ll notice, the vast majority of these candidates are female. I have of course always made better friends with women, and they have been far more satisfying friendships. Usually friendships with men leave me feeling cold. Probably because I feel I have to try so hard to seem like one of the guys. Given a choice between a group of women or men, the odds are that the women will discuss things that interest me, and talk about it longer than the male group. My male interests are very limited, and due to that, the range of topics for me is pretty limited. And if they change topics, my interest will wane, forcing me to fake interest. Simply not my preferred place to be, I like being authentic, so of course authentic conversation would certainly be preferred. But this has been on my mind so much of late, I’ve even begun to dream about it. To me, as a writer, things within my dream get special credence. So much of what I write comes from them; to me it is an artistic canvas. In this instance, I have pause; I cannot simply take the dreams at face value. I have to exercise discernment and wise judgment. Not good judgment, that is not quite good enough.
So, as I said earlier, I know the various reasons why we TG/ crossdressers wish to come out. We need to feel validated, real. We no longer want this aspect of our lives to simply feel like an abstract idea. We wish to increase our social options, and no longer feel like we are hiding out. We want to feel authentic to ourselves. We want the truth of who we are to be out there, and know that our friends accept the fluidity of who we are. We don’t wish to hide the truth from those whom are important to us. We want to be able to hold a conversation and not have to worry about if we may slip up in a conversation and say something telling. We simply wish to simplify an otherwise complicated life. By telling those important to us, it sort of reduces the need for us to exist in a duality. We are able to simply be us.
It truly all boils down to what we are willing to loose or sacrifice. There is no action without reaction, and we can no longer exist in a vacuum if we invite others in there with us. But honesty is important to me in all things, and it hurts me to think I’m not being truthful with my very close friends. I feel as though I’m on the precipice of something important in wanting to tell them. It’s a barrier I want and need to cross, I have so much uncertainty, and I would feel disingenuous if I were to go to each of them and toss a hypothetical scenario at them. Besides, they are all college graduates, certainly no dumb ones in the bunch. I’d hate to insult their intelligence. But I also feel I do that all the time just by not being me, and being forthcoming.
Just because I tell them does not mean I will present as Caden all the time. That is not the issue here. The ultimate goal here is to have the option; and to be completely honest and forthcoming with the people I enjoy surrounding myself with. My educated guess says to tell Rachel and Renee, perhaps one at a time, stretching it out months to years before going to the next one. That way, if this need to tell is satisfied by telling one, then I still have a reserve for another time. But there is also no reason to go blistering forward with no plan, and being haphazard. I worry about the girls who do that; we say they are caught up in the pink fog. However, my goal here is to approach this in a reasoned intellectual manner. I think I’ll cause both myself and my Girlfriend less distress that way.
So after showing this article to Miss Girlfriend, we were able to come to the conclusion that Molly is off the list. There is simply far too much chance for drama and problems at her work for somebody to know about me. Drug and Chesty cannot be on the list because of the reasons I detailed earlier. Renee is sort of iffy, for the fact she is just kind of, well country. Please do not take that as code for redneck, but she is who she is, and I’m not sure there is any room for “unconventional” in her world. Which leaves my oldest and dearest friend Rachel. We are both torn on whether it would be safe to confide in her. She still has so many connections to my old life, and I’ve simply no way to guarantee she would not say anything to her husband. After my conversation with Miss Girlfriend, I feel more isolated than ever. Miss Girlfriend pointed out accurately that I still have her. Which in and of itself is a tremendous boon. I’ve been truly alone in my dressing and truly isolated. In some ways that was self-imposed isolation, and isolation due to the shame my spouses felt about it. Only since I have met Miss Girlfriend has that isolation begun to slightly diminish. But it is still there, I still seek understanding and validation beyond what she can provide. However no one can provide the Love coupled with understanding and acceptance she provides. That is her realm, her gift to me, and nobody can top that. And it certainly isn’t what I’m seeking. It is her special place no one can usurp. It is my hope she would understand my feelings on that. I do not want her to think I take her understanding and acceptance for granted, or that I do not appreciate her. Far from the contrary. I just know I need my world to be bigger than her. I know it will never be the entire world, that would be too close to meaning transition. I just need to know that I’m not locked in a cage, that my efforts are real, that there are others like me, who suffer the same ordeals, real and psychological as I.
But at present, I just feel alone and isolated, and that hurts. This isolation is less about choice. It may be due to a lack of options, but that is something which is apparently out of my control. So I’m left feeling sort of helpless in the matter. I’ve no shortage of online friends and compatriots. And I’m sure with a little planning and effort on my part, I could find a social group to become involved with. And that may very well be the solution I go with. But to me, there will always be something very personal about having a friend who bridges your worlds, and understands the facets of who you are. Miss Girlfriend does that for me, and it’s an awe inspiring feeling to know she is there. I suppose one of my fears is that she thinks like Lady Muck, a spouse of a crossdresser who responded to one of my essays or comments earlier this week. To Lady Muck, our dressing and such is sort of ho hum, something they do all the time and take for granted. The issue at hand is; we do not take it for granted, it has relevance and importance to us. So we cannot afford for our spouses to lose something in the translation. I suppose the key is finding parallels. Parallels in something they are just as passionate about.
It is a bit superficial of us to presume that simply because we have feminine fashion and makeup in common that we actually have something in common. There is more to femininity than that. To have a deeper conversation, you have to have a deeper purpose, a deeper meaning. Perhaps that is the better approach; not presuming that femininity is the common ground, but passion is; make an example of something they themselves are passionate about, and break it down into similar components. We may never be able to fully relate to women; I’m certain there are some out there who are insulted we try. Yet others wish their husband could relate to them better, and understand where they are coming from, and see their side of things or their perspective. That is a mixed bag there, for sure. After speaking to Doc about things, I am still not sure where I am. She was able to see my perspective on needing to feel authentic; that I need to be more than an abstract idea.
Doc knows I need my world to be bigger than it is, but she also understood mine and Miss Girlfriend’s concerns and worries. In the end, I felt better about talking to her, but resolution was not forthcoming. In the end, we are who are, we are still human, and we need what we need. We simply have to analyze what is important to us most, assess value, and determine what we may be willing to loose or part ways with. We are the only ones that have to live our life, but there are still people out there that suffer splash damage due to our choices. I suppose sometimes it is not so much about the decision itself; it is about the process we use to reach that decision. We may rush to a decision, and make a snap judgment. We may have to; but if given the luxury to ponder the decision, and make a reasoned, intellectual decision, I’m sure we can agree that the decision reached will have some level of merit and credibility. I may not have my answer I sought at the beginning of this essay. But by trying to process that decision on this page, I feel I’ve made a level of progress I may not have had otherwise. I now can appreciate a measured response to simply rushing the decision passionately. It has even allowed me to reason out a perspective on communicating things better to Miss Girlfriend. I hope that method works better.
Ever & Always,
A contemplative Caden Lane