Connect the Dots

Yesterday as the Cincinnati Bengals won their game and will head next to the Super Bowl, I will admit I did shed a tear or two of joy. Of course I was overjoyed at the hard fought win but even more I was overcome at the memories of the thirty three years which have gone by since the last trip to a Super Bowl by a Bengals team  As you can imagine, I have suffered more than my share of heartbreak when the Bengals found ways to lose I couldn’t even think of and were even referred to as the “Bungles.”

Being as perceptive as she is, my partner Liz asked me if my tears were because of the memories I had watching all the games I did as a guy. It was at that point I started to connect the dots and told her yes. 

In many ways, looking back at all the years of hiding my transgender feminine being from the world, I wonder how I made it. All those years of going to The Ohio State University football games, drinking enormous amounts of beer while I tried to out macho the other guy by smoking big cigars. One example comes to mind when I had to relieve myself of a large amount of the beer I had just drank by going to what can only be called as a high tech men only portable toilet. The unit only had a trough like device for about five guys to go at once. Or as many as could squeeze in. 

My dilemma quickly became my lack of enough hands. I had a plastic beer cup, a lit cigar and no hands to unzip and go. To solve the problem I pushed my way in holding my beer in my teeth along with my cigar and went ahead and peed. Either that moment was the most macho thing I did or at the least was the most imaginative thing I ever came up with. By now my mind was racing and I returned to the present.

As I cried though, all I could think of were all the wasted years I had doing my best to live a gender lie. How much worse could everything been if I had just followed my instincts and set out to live as my feminine natural self. 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

On the other hand, if you believe in the cup being half empty or full, I was able to live a remarkable life as a guy. and have such wonderful things as my beloved daughter to show for it. Even my time in the military proved to be beneficial as I was able to see and live on three continents in three years followed up by living in several diverse areas of this country when I was honorably discharged. The cup was half empty when I chased after myself but full when I was able to add all the experiences I did.

When you are able to live as long as I have, you begin to realize connecting the dots only proves life is but a circle. Learning from the circle has been the difficult lesson for me.  

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