Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
I am sitting here in my usual spot at Starbucks, expressing myself as Savannah—close to all my favorite baristas, a thousand feet away from the office where I work when in my male-mode (closed today, it’s Sunday)—and working on a PowerPoint presentation for an upcoming transgender conference in New York, jotting down notes about what is left still to do to get Savannah’s second book out into the marketplace and into the hands of my fellow (male term?) crossdressing readers and the people who care enough about them to also open up the book. That was a long sentence… I know it was. I wrote it that way because it captures just how I feel about all the LGBTQ-related balls I am juggling these days.
I didn’t expect all of this. Savannah was meant to be the periodic feminine gender presentation and expression I enjoy. The rest of my time is spent in my male mode. My masculine and feminine expression are in balance, setting at least one day a week to enjoy my inherent femininity. Ever since this year’s Pride month, I vowed at the next Spartanburg PFLAG meeting to be more public and visible in my feminine persona—mostly for me to conquer my fears. What I didn’t realize was a natural byproduct of Savannah’s visibility would be an example for other male crossdressers who may not be out of their own closets yet. Without understanding the ramifications, Savannah became something bigger—someone, to show adults and youth searching for their own identities that people like me exist and are confident enough to be out in the light of day.
I know I am talking about #SavannahStarbucksSunday as if my motivations are altruistic and selfless. I would like to say I am all about the people that I meet… about spreading goodwill selflessly to those around me. The truth is I love being Savannah once in a while. My Sundays are my designated mornings and early afternoons to engross myself in my feminine expression. I love to be out in public as Savannah, whether as the center of attention or to be ignored altogether. The important parts of the experience are to increase my self-confidence and to reinforce, on a regular basis, that who I am is not something to be ashamed of or be worried about. I also hope my outings—in part—show others you can be “out there” in your true identity… moving about freely as who you truly are. There is nothing to fear in the world except the fear we bring out into it with us. Sure, we have to still be mindful of our safety and security—there is no getting around that necessity in this still less-than-enlightened world—but I hope I can be a positive example way for others to be true to themselves, nonetheless.
I have met some wonderful people along the way. From a conservative Christian Republican to an ex-deacon and chaplain, to an older woman full of life and positivity, to a woman who worried if she would offend me with the wrong words when she met me, to a young bisexual woman who was interested and engaged enough to slide herself into one of my ongoing conversations, these people are my friends. The people I have met through PFLAG and the Meetup.com Upstate Out and About group are my friends. They see me as Chuck or Savannah, and they accept all of me. It’s like my dreams may come true.
I want to educate people. I want to find validation for myself. I want a foreseeable future where it is utterly understood and natural to be gender fluid, genderqueer, or have a dual or blended-gender identity.