I went to the Blue Ridge Pride Wedding Expo yesterday and posing as a prospective bride, I spoke to all the vendors, sampled their wares and answered their questions. “So have you set a date yet?” “Have you picked out your dress?” “Have you found a venue that you like?”
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, being accepted at face value, a woman planning a wedding. I collected a bag full of swag in the process, but there was something else going on, it started slowly with a barely perceptible disquiet, slowly growing to a general melancholy the cause of which I couldn’t pinpoint.
It was only later when I arrived at home that the cause began to make itself know. I began sorting through the piles of business cards and a stack of promotional literature. Happy faces, perfect photos of perfect couples in love. I have said that looking back is pointless, regret is a waste of energy, but some days it just refuses to be ignored.
Suddenly as I looked at a beautiful young woman in a stunning wedding dress, tears begin to flow then more tears, I am suddenly overcome by the pain of all the things I have missed. I know that I had looked at them longingly as I grew up, knowing of course that they were out of my reach, it simply was not possible to be a part of the feminine rites of passage, but left behind was an ache that never healed, and seems to make itself known at the most unexpected times.
This transgender life is so complicated, there are so many things rattling around in my mind that I had thought I had locked up years ago. The transgender experience stretches back in time, to the beginning of my memories and on into the future all the way to the end of my life. Even though I was not aware of its influence at the time, years later it becomes apparent that the desires I could not fulfill were leaving a mark, maybe more accurately they left an empty place that I could not fill. Those places are still there and some days a beautiful flowing wedding gown shines a light on them.
Then the tears flow….