Walk with Confidence
by Luna Black
That first step out of the door while presenting the way you have longed to, probably for a long time is…many things.
And for most, it is absolutely terrifying.
The first time I walked out out my house fully dressed as female was the moment I realized that it was all very real. What had been experimentation by myself in the middle of the night in my office and had daydreamed about for years was growing into something much bigger and more profound. It wasn’t just a matter of self-perception anymore. I was now including the rest of the world in my “change” of being. Whatever that change was to be. Even I didn’t know what it meant at that time, and even now I can’t say I completely do. Overwhelming is not a strong enough word to describe the experience. I remember running to my car with my long wig blowing behind me. I remember being worried that my neighbors would see this new version of me. What would my friends across the street think? My toddler plays with their little boy… what if they don’t want their child playing with the freak’s kid anymore?
Like it or not, emotions are usually the driving force to our actions, and I had too many thoughts and emotions wrapped up in that single moment.
Overwhelmed and fearful, I begrudgingly went back into my house. I washed off the makeup I had painstakingly put on. I hung up my wig. I changed out of the clothes I wanted to wear, and put the ol’ blue jeans and t-shirt back on.
I was defeated.
What would people think of the man in the wrong clothes?
While the zeitgeist has changed exponentially over the past decade in regards to the trans community, the internal battle between being true to the self and true to the world rages on. There are no definitions or pronouns that can change that. And while many fight for acceptance in society, most often lose sight of the true change that needs to happen. It isn’t about acceptance from others. It is all about acceptance from the self. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter how your neighbors, friends, or family see you. It is entirely dependent on how you see that person in the mirror staring back at you. If you want her to be beautiful, you have to see her as beautiful. If you want her to be confident, you have to see her as confident. A model on a catwalk can make a paper bag look stunning. It has nothing to do with the beauty of the garment. It has everything to do with the confidence she struts across the stage.
Walk with confidence.
Since the time of me running back into the house, too afraid of going into public, I have learned many things about presenting on the outside the person within. I’ve learned how to not use too much makeup. I’ve learned how to take care of my wigs (and yes…they all have names). But most importantly, I have learned how to walk; both physically and, in a deeper sense, mentally. Spiritually in ways. Transcendent beyond action and into a new state of being. I could wear the most stunning clothes and have the best makeup and wigs, but if my mind isn’t in the right place, and if my head is not held high as I walk into the store to buy even more shaving cream or oreos late at night, then I should just go back home, wash off my face, and step into the world I feel less like myself in.
Own the space. Know who you are. Fake it until you make it.
Because I have the extreme pleasure and honor to work at Janets Closet, and to be a trans individual myself, I have the rare opportunity to see many different people in many different stages of life, all in different areas of the transgender spectrum. For some, it is life. For others, it is an escape on the weekend. But something I have found to be the thread that ties everyone together is this: we all want to be and feel beautiful. But, the secret is very simple and missed by most. We all already are beautiful! We just have to see it for ourselves!
You are beautiful. Never forget it. Hold you head up high, and take each step forward with honest and devout confidence.
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