One fine day

Once a month, I go out. On a day in the week that I won’t be working. A day just for me. Me time. I need that day. It’s therapy. Therapy for my dysphoria.

Last Wednesday was such a day, and I was lucky, because the weather was very nice. My outfit: a striped women’s shirt, a mid-length green A-line skirt, and white sneakers. For fun I also wore a necklace and earrings. The first appointment was at the hospital, for a voice examination. After all, I want to work on my voice. If I look like a woman, I also want to sound like a woman. For myself, but also when I’m in conversation with others. I don’t want to give it away.

I noticed myself that I was more at ease that day. The mouth mask we all have to wear probably helped. Often we condemn it, but now it was convenient for me. I didn’t feel watched, I was enjoying my outing, very consciously. I knew I was savoring it. I realized that I had made progress compared to the first time. I felt like a woman in the world. Katrien, the speech therapist, was her cheerful self again, and couldn’t imagine what I would look like as a non-woman. The doctor who would check my vocal cords asked for “Mrs. Loverix” in the waiting room. Gender euphoria.

Then I went to a domain with a nature reserve nearby. Just by myself. With no specific purpose. I had brought some sandwiches and a book. At first I felt some anxiety again. Nobody wore a mouth mask, so I didn’t either, and there were many families with children. For the first few minutes, I again had the feeling that everyone was watching me. Fortunately, that feeling faded. I walked a bit. I sat down on a bench to eat or read. Then I walked again. Enjoying the idleness. I met two older gentlemen and they asked me whether the road I came from was a dead end or not. Tension. I had to speak. In my I-do-my-best voice, I told them where they would end up. “Thank you, ma’am.” Gender euphoria.

After the walk, I hesitated. Would I do it? Would I go to town? The town where I come so often (in boy-mode)? The town where I often run into people I know? What would I do there? Go to a museum? No, another hassle, because one had to register in advance. But I went, just to walk around again. With no purpose. Or, maybe, with this purpose: to consciously enjoy being in the world as a woman. Looking at the feminine shadow on the sidewalk. And at the reflection of a woman in the windows. Feeling my skirt caressing my legs. Walking nice and straight. Elbows against the body. Looking at the clothes behind the display windows. Occasionally I would step into a store. Again, a little exciting, because to enter the store I had to register. “Can you write down your name and phone number here, ma’am?” Gender euphoria.

I wrote down “Louise Loverix,” and my number. “Enjoy your shopping, ma’am.” “Thank you,” it sounded in my sweetest voice. I didn’t buy anything. I just enjoyed being “ma’am”-ed. So I went into a few more stores. Maybe to buy something, but only if I was 100% convinced. In the end, I didn’t buy anything. More clothes will not make me happy. Being “ma’am”-ed does.

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