Trans Woman Reflects On Her Four-Decade Journey To Authenticity.

by Nancy Menusan

1969: Trans Woman Reflects On Exploring Her Gender As A Child. “I Knew Inside Who I Really Was.”

In 1969, I was 12 years old. I was living in Douglaston, Queens. And I had – we were a family of five. I had two sisters. And my mom was a seamstress.

One day my mom came to me and she said, “Try this coat on.” It was a woman’s coat. And I said okay. And she used me to – as a model to hem the coat, to hem the women’s coats. So she gave me this green button-up coat. It had black buttons, big black buttons, and was flared out at the bottom. It was very feminine-looking. I was like, This feels really good. You know, I wasn’t sure why it felt good but I know it really felt good.

That continued for a couple of years and after that, you know, I started… I started experimenting and when no one was home in my house, I went to my sisters’ room and took their clothes and their stockings and it felt even better. Thank God I had two sisters because they would blame each other who was wearing their clothes. Little did they know it was me!

As years went by, you know, just dressing up at home wasn’t enough. I wanted… I wanted more excitement, wanted to be seen but not seen actually. But I just wanted to be out in the fresh air as a woman. So when no one was home in the house and I knew people, you know, my parents, my sisters aren’t going to be home for a couple hours, I would dress up. And so one day – I lived in a garden apartment, two-floor garden apartment. We were upstairs and there’s a downstairs. So one day I dressed up, put on my mom’s wig. My mom had a couple of wigs in those days. And walked down the stairs and I just looked out. We had a screen door, glass screen door. So I’m looking out the screen door and I’m looking, making sure none of my neighbors – we were in a courthouse, so in the courthouse there is a couple of doors, you know leading to two apartments in each door, so we had quite a few people there.

So – and I was taking a big chance but the urge in me was so strong, you know, it’s almost like I didn’t care that I got caught. But I did care that I got caught. But the urge was taking over, you know, where the fear was put aside. You know, it was more of the love of dressing up and the way I felt more than the fear. So I looked out the door, didn’t see anybody, opened the door, took about two steps outside, and the neighborhood bully who lived right across the street from me – he was like 3 years older than me, big heavy set guy with muscles. We were only like 17 at that time but he was a lot bigger than me. So I saw him and I said, Oh shit. And I started walking really fast with heels on so you could hear me clopping. And he sees me and he starts following me because he’s – I guess he thought he never saw this girl in the neighborhood or I wasn’t sure if he made me and he was going to approach me. So I walked really fast, went down the steps that led to the backyard, and went down the steps and I could hear him – when I went up the other side of the steps, I could hear him coming down the steps – so I started running in the heels, went around the building and ran back up into my house with my heart pounding.

And he never – I never – he never said anything to me after that, so I guess he never figured out it was me. And that – and that was my first time out, you know, as a woman. And it was scary but at the same time I wanted more it. Now that I had the first experience of being outside, the next thing in my mind was saying, you know, maybe I should go to a department store, you know, dress as a woman and go to the department store. Maybe I should, you know, wait till night time and take a longer walk, walk around the block. You know, so it went from there. I just kept escalating and steamrolling.

Couple months after that, I was dressing again. And everybody was away. My dad was working, mom was working and sisters were at school. And I was fully dressed, just walking around the house. I wasn’t going to go outside. And all of a sudden, I could hear the front door – which we lived in an apartment, so the front door’s, like, next to all the bedrooms and everything. So I could hear the front door key go in the door and I was dressed and I’m like, panicked. I was shaking in my boots, literally. And the door opens up and it was my sister’s husband at that time, who was a cop, a New York City cop.

And he opens the door look, we look – it was like looking at a dear in headlights. I looked at him, he looked at me and he just said, “Okay, this is between us,” closed the door and left. And I was like, Oh my God. That’s it. I’m done. You know, he’s gonna tell my sister, my sister’s gonna tell my mother… but I found out years later that he didn’t tell anybody, so I was cool.

And you know when it when I reflect on this whole thing on my childhood, from the time I was 12 and now 16, around there… the urge in me overrode the fear in me. Because I knew inside, I knew who I really was and that was Nancy. And that was actually, you know, that those couple of years from 12 to 16 was the birth of Nancy.

 

 

1990s: After Years Of Trying To Change Who She Was, Trans Woman Learns That “It Was Nothing To Be Fixed.”

So in 1990, I was about 30 years old, and was getting ready to get married. I had a fiance. We were 6 months away from our wedding time. She was two months pregnant.

So she called me up one day and she told me she was going to be late to come home and I said fine. So I went upstairs, went into my stash, you know, got my wig and my clothes out, put the makeup on, not, you know, not expecting my wife to be home.

Maybe around 6:30, the time she usually comes home, which she wasn’t supposed to be then, I hear the door knob turning and the key go in the door in the downstairs entryway. I said, “Oh shit.” You know, so… and we were in the attic bedroom, so I started stripping down to of all my clothes, wiped my make-up off, threw everything under the bed.

And at the same time, when I had everything off… I was completely naked also. She comes up, she goes… and I’m, like, looking at her and she could see the fear in my eyes. And she goes, “What’s going on?” She actually thought I might have a girl underneath the bed or something like that… I was hiding somebody… I was cheating on her. But it was me dressing, you know, dressing again. That’s the first time she knew about it. We were living together for a couple years and she had no idea.

So she came to me and she said, “I don’t like this. I want you to stop. If you want to get married and have children, you got to stop.” So another time in my life I’m throwing everything out, thinking in my mind that marriage and children gonna fix me.

So 7 years went by. We had three kids, bought a house together and I started dressing again. The urge was too strong. You know, I was trying to fight it. I had no women’s clothes but I started buying, I started going online and buying women’s clothes, going to the store buying women’s clothes.

So I started dress. You know, I was dressing again without her knowing it. And then – but she was suspecting things because I used to go downstairs in the basement late at night. You know, after we both went to bed, I would go downstairs and sneak down to go on internet sites, crossdressers and transgenders. And she knew I was going down there to suspected something going on but she never said anything to me until, you know, she noticed that her clothes was being… someone was wearing her clothes. And I had – my kids like 5, 4 and 3, you know, so they weren’t wearing her clothes.

So she approached me and she said, “Are you wearing my clothes again?”

And I said, “Yeah, I am.” I just, you know… and I started crying. So after getting caught she said we need to get divorced and I said we can’t afford that, so what I ended up doing is I built an apartment downstairs. I lived downstairs. She lived upstairs.

As those months went by, she started dating and actually going away on the weekends and leaving with me with my 5 year old, 4 year old, and 1 year old to take care of as he was with a boyfriend, you know, on the weekends. So I was home with the kids one day and the weight of the feeling of everything – getting divorced and not being able to dress, not being able to be who I really felt I was inside, it just got overwhelming. I started crying. I called my brother-in-law up, who’s a born again Christian, and he said “Have you tried going to your local church?”

So I drove to two churches, two of them were closed, got to this one church and I pulled in front of the place and a pastor pulled behind me in a car and he goes, “What’s wrong?” And I told him. I didn’t tell him I was a cross dresser. I just said my marriage is broken up and this and that.

He said, “Are you willing to take Christ in your life?” And I said yes. So I said the sinner’s prayer and God saved me for a little while, you know, because what I did was I started going into the Bible and with Christian men, you know, by my side who is all denouncing dressing as a woman, like in Deuteronomy. In the Bible in the Old Testament, they tell you a woman shouldn’t dress like a man and a man shouldn’t dress like a woman. And that was being, you know, fed to me – that I shouldn’t be doing this.

So I got involved in the church… even ran a men’s Bible study. She became a born again Christian as well and things were really good for awhile because, again, I was able to suppress the feelings. But then it started coming back again – the feeling that I need to dress, I can’t do this anymore, I need to dress. So in my Christian walk, maybe a couple years in, I started dressing again slowly. And she caught me again.

You know, so she says, “That’s it.” You know – you know, so I said… we went to – we went to therapy first together. And therapist was telling her to let me try on girls’, you know, girls underwear… go to bed in girls’ underwear, shave my legs. And she couldn’t handle that. So the next step was to go to the bishop of our church, which we were both very friendly with.

So we walk into the bishop’s office and my ex-wife was expecting me to denounce Nancy… you know, denounce who I really felt that I was in from the bishop. She thought the bishop was gonna take care of me at that point.

So I get into the bishop’s office. He started talking to me about crossdressing and how biblically wrong it is and, you know, Don’t you love your wife? and this and that. And my head was ready to explode and I just stood up and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” And I I walked out of the bishop’s office.

My ex wife came running after me she says, “You really want to do this?”

And I said, “I don’t really want to do this. I have to do this.” So two weeks later, I got served divorce papers.

Through my whole life, I went to this suppressing the feeling, purging, and dressing again and purging, and dressing again. And it just got too overwhelming. I just couldn’t do that anymore. It was years and years, since I was 12, like I said, when I look back it was just a bunch of suppressing feelings and accepting my feelings, suppressing my feelings and accepting my feelings. So after all these years I realized it was nothing to be fixed. You know, everything was good. I was fixed already.

 

From Hesitance To Acceptance, Trans Woman’s Mother Is “Proud Of My Strength To Be Who I Really Am.”

So after 20 years of marriage and now being divorced, I went on Plenty of Fish and I found this girl that was skiing like I was skiing and we ended hooking up, still not knowing – and still no one knowing that Nancy was inside of this person, Hank. And so we bought a house together.

We lived together for about two years and one week she said she was going on vacation with a bunch of girls and she wanted to know if I wanted to go. But I saw an opportunity now that I’ll have a whole house to myself for a week to dress up without anybody knowing. And I never did that in my whole life. My whole life, all of us – most most of the transgender community, we did it with an hour or overnight… we were able to go out overnight or with an hour, just getting dressed up. So this is my first time in my life that I was able to dress is Nancy, go to sleep is Nancy, wake up as Nancy and just spend days dressed up.

So the day before she came back from a vacation, I was in our exercise room on an exercise bicycle looking in the mirror. And I’m looking in as Hank now. I took off all my girl clothes.  And I looked at myself and I said I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to die a lie. I said, I don’t want my 3 daughters to go through my stuff after you pass away – and everybody goes you stuff, you know – and find wigs and dresses and everything like that and say, What was Dad up to? So that moment, that’s the moment that I decided that I was going to be Nancy for the rest of my life.

So she came home from vacation. I gave her one day to go to work, just to kind of – the smoke cleared a little bit. And she came home that night and I had a bottle of wine and two glasses on the table. I said, “Honey, start drinking.”

So she started drinking. I told my story, tears coming down her eyes and she goes, “Let’s sell the house.”

And I said, “Don’t you want to wait two months? I’m the same person inside. It’s just the outside.” So at this point, you know, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to transition completely, but I knew I couldn’t suppress my feminine feelings anymore and I needed to share that with somebody or with everybody at this point.

And she just didn’t want to have anything to do with it and she said, “Let’s sell the house.” I tried to get, you know, I tried to talk her into giving it a couple months and she said no. So the next day she called all her friends and threw me on the bus, you know, as being transgender, dressing up as a woman. What saved me was the day after that Bruce Jenner came out in the newspapers that he was transgender. So now everybody knew. I didn’t have to explain to anybody. The news, TV, was all explaining what transgender was.

Now I realized that I had to tell the people that I loved first. So I called my sisters up. You know, especially, I’m glad they were sisters. It would be so much harder with brothers I would think. So I told my sisters and they seemed to accept it. I think also when they look back – because I told her I go, “You know all those fights you were having with Dawn?  That was because of me. I was the one wearing your clothes.”

You know so she got a chuckle out of that and she said, “Okay, but I think you should hold off on telling Mom.” And you know, I said okay. And I’ve done this a lot where I say okay just to appease people but as soon as I hung up the phone, I knew I had to tell Mom.

So we were riding in the car one day and I said,  “Mom, I’m going to transition.”

And she goes, “Okay. You know, it’s okay if you want to be a crossdresser.”

And I said, “No, Mom. I’m not going to do this part-time. I want to become a woman. I’m gonna transition to become a woman.” And she started crying because I have two sisters.

And she said to me, she says, “You’re my only son. Can’t you wait till I die before you transition?” And again, I didn’t want to break my mom’s heart, so I said, okay, you know, I wouldn’t do it. So weeks went by at this point. I was Hank Monday through Friday, dressing as a man. Come Friday after work, I would become Nancy. So it’s like Cinderella – I was Cinderella for the weekend.

So my mom would call me up on the weekends and I said “Mom, I can’t, you know, I can’t come over because I’m Nancy now. You know, during the week, if you want to come over, no problem.”

So she called me up one Sunday, you know, weeks have gone by now, she called me up one Sunday, she goes “Why don’t you over for dinner?”

I said, “Mom, I can’t. I’m Nancy.” As you see – I can hear the hesitation – sigh – in her voice.

She goes, “Okay. Come over but don’t wear a dress.” I said okay. So I went back home because I was wearing a dress. I put on dungarees and Victoria’s Secret t-shirt, still wearing makeup. And at that point my hair was blonde. It wasn’t long, but it was short blonde. And I went over the house, she opened the door, and I could see, you know, like, Oh God. Okay.

And she took a deep breath and she said, “Okay, Hank.” You know, she – so she wasn’t using Nancy yet. She couldn’t do that yet. So we sat down, we had dinner together, and you go to me, she goes, “You wanna go shopping? I want to get some from Macy’s. And I was like, in my mind, I’m saying, Did my mother ask me, Nancy, to go shopping with her?

And I said, “Yeah, sure.” so the next thing you know we’re in Macy’s and I’m not only shopping with her. She’s waiting outside the fitting room while I put stuff on and come out and ask her opinion. And after that, you know, it just got better and better and now my mom loves me. She’s – not only does she love me, she calls me Nancy all the time, she uses the right pronoun. She’s 89 years old. And her friends – she tells her friends and she’s she’s proud of me. She’s proud of my strength to be who I really am. And for my mom embracing me, who I was, was one of the most important things in my life.

You know, she taught me love. My mom has a stack of cards from being a nurse from patients because of her love and her love continued in me and the reason why I get love from my children and from even work is because of the love that my mom instilled in me.

 

Trans Woman Comes Out To Neighbors After Hilarious Encounter. 

At 57, my family knew now, my sisters and my mom knew and work didn’t know yet. So I was living in my own apartment from Monday to Friday as Hank, you know, dressed as a mechanic. And then on Friday, on Friday afternoons, I would get home early, I would go upstairs and like, Superman I would just rip off my man clothes – I couldn’t stand it, I couldn’t stand wearing men’s clothes – and dress as Nancy. So the weekends, I would be Nancy and during the week, I would be Hank.

So the new – my neighbors, which were mostly single women, saw this good looking young man come into the – into the complex and they started, Who’s gonna go be with him? and, you know, sort of, fix me up with different neighbors. And I didn’t know this is all going on. This was hearsay that, later on, I found out

Eventually, on the weekends, all of a sudden they see these different women coming in and out. So now they think I’m a player but meanwhile it was me because I have like 3 different wigs. I’d come in as a blond, come in as a brunette, come in as a red head different days. So they were seeing these different women come in over the weekend.

So months went by. It was summertime. It was August it was like 4 or 5 of them outside in lawn chairs, you know, Queens type of thing, drinking vodka and tonics. I pulled up in front of the house as Nancy and I go, I said, Okay, here’s another one of those times. I just got to take a deep breath. I wasn’t gonna hide at this point in my life.

You know, I’m ready to go and I walked out of the car, I started walking to the apartment, and one of the ladies goes “Hey, hey! Where’s Hank?”

And I turn towards her and I said, “I’m Hank.” You know and she – again the whole drop face and stuff like that. And all the neighbors came over to me to see me, you know, just to see what’s going on here and… but after that they all accepted me. My downstairs neighbor was my fashion coordinator. I could call up on the cellphone I [could] run downstairs and she used to tell me what to wear, what not to wear. I would go back up stairs, I would get a phone call from her and she would go, “Hey, Nancy, could you put up a shelf for me?” So I was – she says I was the best neighbor because I could do both male and female stuff.

Not only did she help me fashion myself, dressing and telling me what to wear, what not to wear – we went out to dinner a lot. We actually went out with the other neighbors and that was – that was so great for me to be able to go out as a woman with other woman – you know, with other women. So have having my neighbors embrace me meant the world to me. It was so important because who is just another step in my transition.

 

Trans Woman Warmly Embraced By Daughters: “You could change the cover of a book but the story stays the same.”

So I’m 62 years old, on hormones now – I started hormones, it’s been probably about 6 months into my hormones at 62. I had to go to divorce court and met my ex-wife there, of course, and she turned to me after we were talking for awhile.

She goes, “You know, your oldest daughter knows about you.” And I said I didn’t know that. This is – this is like 3 years. She told – she told my oldest daughter two years before that. You know, so I thought, Wow, really?

And so as soon as I got out of court, I got my daughter on the phone – she was living in Colorado at that point. And she goes, “Yeah, Dad, I know.”

And I said, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

She goes, “I just – you know, I thought it was too private for you. I didn’t wanna let you know that I knew. I love you no matter what.” So we’re both crying on the phone together and she offered me – because she thought that if I had such a hard time in New York, that I could come live with her in Colorado. And like, oh my God, you know, for my daughter to offer me knowing that I’m transgender was awesome. So by the end of the phone call, we’re texting each other outfits and which ones we like, which ones we don’t like.

So at this point have to after talking to my oldest daughter, I knew I needed to talk to my other two daughters – my middle daughter, my youngest daughter. So I called them up. They live local. And we went to a local bar, we sat in a booth – so I sat on one side, they sat on – the other two on the other side. And we had dinner. They had a drink. And I was getting all nervous now because I knew I had to tell them.

So I said, “Girls, why don’t you have another drink?”

And they said, “No, Dad, we got it.”

I go, “I think you should have another drink.” So we start on a second drink and I started my story, you know, of what I’ve been, you know, from 12 years old on, what’s been happening in my life. And as on telling the stories, I could see both of them – I could see tears coming down their eyes, you know, and of course tears are coming down my eyes also. They were in shock. I could see them – not only were they crying but they were kind of in shock. But slowly as I ended my story, they start asking some questions. You know some – I don’t remember the questions because I was so… I was so high on just endorphins, you know, what was going on right now in front of my daughters. They were my last – almost my last frontier. And so we finished dinner and we walked out and was very quiet after dinner. We walked out quietly and gave each other hugs and stuff like that and kissed. They both – they both left. I got my car.

And maybe like an hour later, my middle daughter texts me and she said “Dad, I love you. You know, I just want you to be happy. Whatever you decide to do is okay with me in your life.” I said, Oh God, thank you.

So I was waiting for my youngest daughter to text me but I didn’t get anything from her that night or the next day. Finally on the third day, I get a text from my baby and she said, basically – almost the same thing but something really cool. She said, “Dad, you could change the cover of a book but the story stays the same. I love you and I want you to be happy.” So everything’s okay.

I would have the girls over for dinner once a week and I was seeing my therapist and my therapist said to me, he goes, you know, “Don’t shock your kids into your feminine self, Nancy. Start slowly.” So first time they came over for dinner, I had my nails done. Second time – I did it biweekly. I didn’t wait long. It was like every week, they saw a change every time they came over there. And they didn’t see me during the week so it’s just that one time every day. So first it was nails, then it was a Victoria’s Secret t-shirt, then it was makeup, and then finally with the hair. And that kind of – within those couple of weeks, they finally – I could see they got comfortable and they realized where their life was going to be with me. And I could see there they were accepting me and loving me.

Years went by and my middle daughter got married about a month ago and she called me up and she said, “Okay, Dad, you know, you have to walk me down the aisle.” And I said okay because I was – I was ready to do whatever she wanted to do. It was her wedding. If she wanted me to sit in the pew and just be there, that’s all I wanted to do.  But for her to ask me to walk her down the aisle was unbelievable. And the funny thing with that was that I couldn’t pick out my dress because I like wearing low cut dresses, showing my tattoos, and I was told no glitter. I couldn’t wear glitter at the wedding for my 3 daughters. And they needed to okay the dress. So after many dresses, we all agreed on a dress that I would wear.

So just, like I said, just about a month ago, I walked my own my middle daughter down the aisle with my ex-wife on one side of me and the other on the – in the archdiocese, the Catholic archdiocese in Rockville Center, head of all Long Island, so it was a big thing.

And at the wedding, I did Daddy’s first dance and even with that, you know she came to me and she goes, “How do you want them to call you up to do Daddy’s First Dance? You want Nancy? Do you want Daddy?” So they called me up. They said, “Nancy to the dance floor.” So I went up to the dance floor. I picked John Meyer’s “Daughter” which is really slow, so it’s a beautiful song if you have kids, a daughter.

And I get up there and being a guy all my life and dancing with women, I got really close to her, I started doing one of these. And she goes, “Daddy, not so close, okay?” So we started dancing will further away.

And after that, two weeks later, my oldest daughter called me up and she’s having a baby. She was – she was pregnant and she goes, “Dad, I got two grandmas already.” She goes, we have my ex wife, her mom, grandma, and his mom, grandma. She goes, “Do you wanna be grandma?”

And I said – you know, again, I’m very easy-going person, so I said, “Whatever you want me…”

She goes, “What about Nana?”

And I said, “Nana! Yeah, Nana, Nancy.” And then in my head, I said “Nana with a banana!” And she – and we both started laughing.

She goes, “Okay, that’s good, but wait for the kid to get a little older to tell him about the banana part.” And that’s it.

 

 

Trans Mechanic Embraced By Colleagues: “It’s Been Wonderful And It Gets Better Every Year.”

I work for the Transit Authority. I am a mechanic, so plant and equipment. So I don’t directly work on the buses but I work on everything in the building. And it’s all guys – I work with 150 guys and 3 women. You know, the women aren’t even in my department – they’re in different departments.

I realized again now at this point in my life, I needed to – even though there was a lot of fear coming out to the guys at work, I knew it was going to be a lot harder than coming out to my children. You know, coming out to them and having them, you know, judge you and all that other stuff. So at this point I knew it was time. I didn’t care where I was going to go with this, I just knew I had to do it.

So I went down to my superintendent’s office, the boss, and I knocked on his door door and he said, “Yes, Hank, what can I do for you?”

I said, “I got to talk to you in private.” So I open the door, I get in and I said to him, I go, “I’m gonna transition.”

And he goes, “Oh, great. What position you going for?”

I said, “No, no, no. It’s not a job title. It’s not a job position. I’m transitioning into a woman.”

And again, you know, he said, “Okay…” And I pull out my phone and I showed him my phone, I showed him crossdressing pictures of me.

And he said, “Okay, we need to do something about that.” He called EEO, human resources of the Transit Authority, got together with them two times, all the presidents, big – we sat around the table asking me questions, how I feel comfortable, what do they want – what should they do for me and blah, blah, blah. So after the two meetings, the third time we met and they asked me if I go wait two months before I present myself as Nancy. I didn’t ask them why but they told me why right away, actually. They said that they wanted to start a gender awareness program for the Transit Authority, which was never done before.

And so they started teaching not only my building, not only my bus, but all through the transit authorities, trains and buses. After the two months went by and I got the call phone call from them that said, “Okay, Nancy. It’s your turn.” I, you know, I went to work. I came in slowly. Nails. Top. Makeup. The last thing I did was boobs, because I didn’t want to – that was – I was scared to put boobs on, but I finally put a bra on and the boobs on. And at that point, I went to work completely in femme.

And I did set – I did set myself up for this whole thing because before I came out, I was showing my good friends at work, you know, what’s going to happen in about a month or two… I’m going to come as a woman. I would show them pictures. And I knew gossip would go from them to another person, another person. So I think it kind of made it easier on me that people already talking – it wasn’t like I just walked in as Nancy and boom! They knew it was coming. They knew that, you know, the storm was coming. And the day I came out, fist pumps, you know, You’re the bravest person I know. You know, it was unbelievable.

The guys that – the guys that weren’t sure just stayed away. You know, they kind of – but over the time, over the time, seeing that nothing is changed when they saw me on the floor with my wrenches, you know, and getting dirty in laying on the floor working on a whatever, a scrubber because I work on scrubbers, you know they saw that I was the same person. So they started approaching me slowly one at a time, like, “How do you want to – are you he or she? What do you want us to call you? You want Nancy?”

And I said, “Yeah, sure, Nancy.” So you know so it’s been – it’s been unbelievable. And it gets better. Every time, it gets better. My supervisors – when they call my supervisor if they have something done in the offices, they always ask for Nancy. They want me up there, so it’s really good.

We also have a gym – a gym at work. And I was a personal trainer as Hank and I was going to this depot for 10 years as Hank. So I would go up to the gym – we have a really nice gym – and I was training some of the guys on physical fitness. I was showing them what to do to get bigger. So after my transition, the first day I walked up there, I went up there with just sports bra, not knowing that wasn’t gym etiquette for a woman. You have to cover your belly. Most women, as far as I see also, they all wear tank tops and everything.

So the first incident that I had in the gym was the guy who runs the gym said, “Hey, Nancy,  do you mind you know covering up not wearing a sports bra?”

I said, “Okay.” I had no problem with that. So the day after, I’m on the treadmill. The gym is packed. All these guys lifting weights, music going, everything like that. I get on the treadmill. There’s a guy named Tiger on the treadmill next to me and he – we’re both running and he goes, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Shut the musical off.” So one of the guys goes over, shuts the music off. Everybody stops working out because obviously they were talking about me before I got there, because I go there the same time every day at 11:00.

So music stops, everybody stops working out, Tiger goes to me, “Nancy, can we talk about women in front of you?” You know, and all that stuff we say, bad things and all this other stuff.

I look at him – I look at him in the eyes and I said, “I eat pussy, too.” And that was the ice breaker. Everybody just started laughing, music wente back on, we started running. I – they all, everybody started working out.

And the way I look at it is a lot of men are very insecure of their, of their masculinity, of their masculinity – they’re insecure. So if they knew that I like men that would get him all bent out of shape, so I realized for me telling them that – I didn’t want tell them I’m bisexual because I really am bisexual – but I don’t want to really let them know that. I just told the, “No, I’m only interested in women.”  And I think that defused a lot of that.

It’s been wonderful and it gets better every year. It’s just awesome. For anybody that’s deciding to come out at work, my suggestion is to go to the superiors. Just don’t take it upon yourself to just decide that you’re going to come in as a trans man or trans woman. Go to your supervisors. Make sure they go to Human Resources EEO because they have to – they have to support you, you know, they have to do it and that’s the only way to do it. You can’t do it on your own. You need help. And just don’t be fearful.

Sharing your story can change someone's life. Interested in learning more?