Saturday, April 18, 2020

Managing the Pink Fog

By Hannah McKnight

Coming out will definitely change your life. It will change the life of the the person you come out to. In some ways your life will be better, it may be harder, but your life will undoubtedly become more complicated. When you choose to come out (as opposed to being "caught"), you have accepted your new, or dual, gender identity. Regardless of how you identify, your wardrobe is likely getting a makeover. And it is the best thing ever. As complicated and difficult as coming out is, there is a part of you that is liberated. You are no longer denying who you are, even if you are not completely sure of who you are. You are in a new phase of your life, and as wonderful as it may be, it is not always easy to navigate this new chapter.

If you've ever started a new career, you can understand how it takes time to adjust to your new job. You learn your way around the office, the office culture, who to avoid, the phone system... this is all easy compared to adjusting to a new or evolving gender identity. And like getting accustomed to who you are, you are always going to make mistakes. But that's okay. Making mistakes is how you learn. My motto is that crossdressing takes time, patience, money, and mistakes. There was so much I have learned over the past twenty years. How to drop my hips when I walk in heels, how to apply liquid eyeliner, how to avoid getting lipstick on my teeth when I'm eating...

In addition to making mistakes, we can also make a lot of bad decisions. Often these poor choices go hand in hand with poor judgement and carelessness. This carelessness and lack of judgement is often connected to our liberation. We have come out, we have done the impossible, we have done something we never thought we would be able to do. Regardless of the reaction from the person we came out to, we have COME OUT. Even if it's just to one person, we have had a discussion about what we like to wear, what we want to wear, and how we feel.

We are emboldened, we are proud, we have accepted who we are.

And now we are lost in the Pink Fog.

The Pink Fog is a state of mind when we are so... lost in our femininity, we are happy that we have accepted this side of us, we took our gender identity to a new level, from secret... to a shared secret. Someone else knows. We are not hiding it anymore. It is not uncommon for this fog to, well, cloud our judgment. Sometimes being lost in the fog can result in something relatively harmless, such as splurging a few pairs of stilettos and a new pencil skirt instead of paying the electric bill. Sometimes being lost in the fog can be... well, a disaster.

When we come out to our partners, it can go a few different ways. It is not uncommon for our partners to set limits or boundaries when it comes to this side of us. This may be frustrating to you, but we need to give our partners time to adjust to this revelation, and to process who we are. We need to be patient, kind, and caring to who we come out to. Like our first time in six inch stilettos (and we all have tried six inch stilettos), it's all about baby steps. Our partners may ask us to not post any photos online. They may ask us not to leave the house en femme in case you are seen by someone you both know. If you do enter the real world en femme, then you may be asked to avoid certain malls or parts of the city in which you live as those areas may be frequented by your friends and family members.

Let's not forget that many of us were in the closet for so long because we were afraid of being caught, and we were afraid of someone not understanding this side of us. Our partners now have that same fear. My wife understands and accepts this side of me to the extent either of us can understand it, but she rightly fears no one else will. My wife is wonderful on so many levels and we discuss everything from eyeliner to politics to Taylor Swift to cat videos. She has also asked me to not shop at a particular mall because it is so close to our home and every time we go there we run into someone we know.

When we are lost in the fog, it's not unheard of for us to... step across the boundaries. All of our lives we have dreamed of living as who we are, and it's tempting to want to keep going to the next level, if you will. It's not unlike going from panties to a bra to a dress to a wig to makeup. We accept ourselves, we come out to someone, we want to keep getting closer to living the life we dreamed of. We want total freedom, we want to shop en femme, we want to post photos of ourselves wearing a new dress, or get feedback on our new eyeshadow. We want to do things that our wonderful, confused, and patient partners have asked us not to do.

And sometimes we do it anyway. What's the harm? Who will know? What are the chances we will run into someone we know if we just pop into the mall for an hour?

We can justify our decisions all we want. And its true, you may, for lack of a better term, get away with it. But what happens if you don't? I fully believe that we need to be upfront, honest, and transparent about who we are to our partners. I did not want my wife to find my panties. I wanted to tell her. And I did. If our partners were to learn of us going outside of these boundaries it becomes a serious violation of trust. And this violation might not be the first when it comes to this side of us. All of a sudden a pattern develops about our dressing. What else did we lie about?

As we make this step from living a secret life, from having a secret side of us to accepting and embracing who we are, it is important we continue to be honest and open. With ourselves and with who shares this secret. We trust our partners with this, it is important for us to respect our partners and for us to be worthy of their trust, too.

Love, Hannah

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