Today is a special day of sorts.
It's a year ago today that I sat down with my wife and said those potentially fatal words:
"I have something to tell you ..."
At the time I was a thoroughly closeted tranny. I got to dress once, perhaps twice, a year if I was lucky, through dressing services. And to do that I had to resort to subterfuges to get the time away. Lies, basically.
Things had come to a head a couple of weeks before, when I made my first visit to 'Adam and Eve' in East London. This was the first time I had been to a dressing service where I had the chance to actually go out dressed, and I jumped at the chance. And why not? I looked and felt fantastic, and wanted the world to see me.
And it did. Just for twenty minutes or so, as I strolled up and down Brick Lane buzzing with happiness.
There was no going back. Rachel was truly alive, I knew that I wanted more of her, and that once a year wasn't going to satisfy it. But to do it more often than that would mean more lies and more deception. I couldn't do it. Which is why, a couple of weeks later, I sat down with my wife and had The Conversation.
The next few days were not fun. The day after was especially bleak as, to put it bluntly, our marriage teetered on the brink. But we got through it. We started talking. We arranged to have counselling. We worked hard to keep our relationship together. A few months later we went back to 'Adam and Eve' and my wife saw me as Rachel for the first time. We started telling people; family at first, then other friends. Other people knowing helped relieve the burden on us but also helped make it what it should be; a normal part of life.
And, a year on, we seem to be succeeding. Oh, there are tensions and worries, of course. But no more, perhaps, than in any other relationship. Coming out and being able to express myself as Rachel has made me happier, healthier and more confident than I have been in a long time, which has been of benefit to all of the family. Indeed it was obvious that the suppression of Rachel for such a long time had been subconsciously grinding me down and making me unhappy. Now my biggest worry is wardrobe space ...
I didn't ask to be a tranny. If someone could wave a magic wand and make it go away, that would make things so much easier (although I'd miss the social life). But the reality is that I'm stuck with it, so I make the most of it, in my own way, and get as much happiness and enjoyment out of it as I can. I'm lucky. I have a supportive family and, for now, I am content with who and what I am.
Various people have helped us in various ways over the last year. Indeed some of you will be reading this. To all of you I say thank you.