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Our introduction
Hello!  Our name is Angel, we are living in Seattle, Washington and we use we/they pronouns most of the time.  For complicated reasons, we can change pronouns in the middle of a sentence at times.  We only mention this up front in the hopes that making everyone aware of that will prevent it from being too much of a distraction.

   It was early evening on Thursday, June 2nd, just eighty-four days ago.  We were a fifty-seven-year-old cis 'guy' who had absolutely no idea that ‘he’ was a woman.  We had never considered it consciously.  The very next moment we knew with a certainty normally reserved for death and taxes that we were a woman and always had been.  We couldn’t even play Devil’s Advocate.  Since then, we’ve been inundated with the surfacing of memories that reinforce a knowing that we’ve no need of reinforcements for.  For instance, we had always known that our parents put us into sports at six-years-old to make a man out of us, but it wasn’t until last week that we remembered what proceeded their decision.  It was us announcing that we wanted to be a cheerleader when we grew up. 

   While we’ve always been incredibly accepting and encouraging toward other people’s rainbow journeys, the archaic notions of sex and gender that we had received from our parents helped keep us from seeing our own place.  For instance, we couldn’t be a girl because we didn’t like boys – and other lies we told ourselves.  Candidly though, it wasn’t lying to ourselves so much as simply being confused.  We have pretty severe autism.  As such, we learned from a very early age that we could not trust our interpretation of the world, which included out own thoughts and feelings.  That belief had contributed to our survival throughout our childhood, so we were reluctant to test its effectiveness – after all, it had already proven itself.   The autism diagnosis came just ten months ago.  That caused us to have to completely reframe our life.  It was during that process that we learned we’re a girl.

   We’ve made a non-binary friend recently and they’ve been helping us navigate this realization and the community.  No one expects someone our age to have just learned who they are (though we know we’re not the only one) so we’re expected to know how to behave in the community – it’s kind of frightening.  We only made our first friend in life a year ago.  Prior to that, we were masking so hard, and our authentic self was so different that anyone who liked that person wouldn’t have liked the real us – so friendship as impossible.  This new friend has helped so much.  Just a week and a half ago they asked if we were going to experiment wearing women’s clothes, etc.  Our reaction was rather visceral; the idea was off-putting to us.  We explained to her that cross-dressing did not feel appealing at all – to which she responded with loving exasperation, “A girl wearing girl clothes is not crossdressing!” 

   We don’t know if it was our thoughts or our feelings that did a 180 degree turn first.  It was hard to tell because buying and wearing something feminine became a need sometime in the next two or three seconds.  On Wednesday, eight days ago, we bought six items off the clearance rack at Walmart.  That night we went to a Zoom meeting wearing bottoms because it was out of camera view.  Every single person in the meeting sent us a private message in the chat that night, which is unheard of.  Every single one commented something to the effect of, “Wow, I’ve never seen you so happy!”  We’ve been wearing stuff around the house and then Tuesday, two days ago, we wore the cutest little skort to our doctor appointment.  Terrified?  OMG, yes.  Did it anyway.  Then we came home…

   We decided to go for a walk.  We thought about changing…then we didn’t.  We started walking down the train tracks.  It was probably because we were much less likely to run into anyone there but we told ourselves that we wanted to walk the tracks so we had to lift our feet and knees higher to avoid tripping on the rocks between the railroad ties.  Our regular three-foot stride was reduced significantly because the ties were only 10 – 12 inches apart.  We were watching our step and the ‘daintiness’ of each step made us feel that much more feminine and we were struck by an urge we’ve never experienced before – ever.  We needed to dance.  Joy was seeping out places we didn’t know were exits and excitement had reached critical levels.  We began to lift our head to look around and see if anyone could see us, and then we stopped.

   We really, really wanted to make sure no one could see us, but as we lifted our head, we realized that we didn’t need to.  So, we didn’t.  We just decided to dance in our skort in an out of the way but still public place.  The dance carried us all the way home and we danced through the door with some long-held tears falling all around us as we did.  We got up yesterday and went to pick out our clothes for the day.  We decided not to ‘dress’ – not for any reason other than we were still filled with so much joy that we wouldn’t be able to process or hold any more – and we knew getting dressed would provide more.  So, we sat in our cis-costume and just basked in our feelings all day.  We know this is incredibly long – we purposely didn’t look at anyone else’s intro so we wouldn’t know how short theirs were.  We’re so, so grateful to be here! <3
Welcome to the forum Angel! Thank you for your interesting intro and you certainly are not alone. Certainly most of us, myself included were bitten with this young, most repressed it for similar reasons to you. However, a few including a very good friend of mine was drawn into this at about the same age as you.
I am no doctor so I can't tell you why, but so many of us have this come into our lives or back into it at a similar age, I'm a bit older than you at 68, soon to be 69. At about 60 I got the need to dress up more often, and more thoroughly than ever before.
It so nice that you have discovered your inner woman and are now letting her out.
Thank you Amy! We thought we were subscribed to this post and were awaiting a notification that someone replied - or we would have responded yesterday. Smile
You are very welcome.
That's cool, I find the same thing, I usually only get a notification when there's a private message.
My internet is awful right no as well so I'm having a tough time getting online.

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