Aren't you supposed to try?

A friend and I attend a church that another [alleged] T-girl attends. Let's call my friend Peggy and the other one Mary since both are in one of the groups I am in.

Mary doesn't seem to do much to make herself very feminine looking, yet complains that she isn't passing. She dresses rather poorly, in my humble opinion, and doesn't seem to use any makeup. She even sits with one ankle on the other knee - a very unladylike way of crossing one's legs. And, by the way, this is in the choir in front of the entire church.

One day a gay friend of Peggy's looked at her and then at Mary and, indicating Mary, asked, "Aren't you supposed to try?"

Yes, my friends, you are not only supposed to try, but it is incumbent upon you to do so. You don't have to achieve a super-model look; just do the best you can and find your own look, just like other girls do.

Whether we like it or not, we of the transgender community are still pioneers. We will be that until society accepts us. There are many pioneers before us and we enjoy increased acceptance because they bore the brunt of social ostracism.

But even as we stand upon their shoulders to enjoy what freedom we have today, we are also providing the shoulders for those to come. We must present a positive image to those around us and show that we are proud of being the girls we are, even if our "heel-time" is limited.

If we don't do our best, we appear as clowns, and that tarnishes the impression of TGs everywhere. If we look and act the best we can as women then all of us benefit and the world becomes a better place. "When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others." (Anais Nin)

Learn to do your makeup. Learn to do your hair (even if it is a wig). Learn the mannerisms that other girls use. Learn to walk like a girl. Learn to sit like a girl. Make an effort to change the way you speak.

But also learn where the limits are. For example, I have seen T-girls start growing their hair longer. It is natural that you want to display your own real hair. Unfortunately, some T-girls rush it and go out before their hair is ready. Yes, many GGs wear short hair, but that doesn't mean a TG can. If you can't see it in the mirror, get a digital camera; ask a friend (but be prepared for the answer).

Find a few GG role models and measure your progress against them. Remember, a negative role model may be just as useful as positive ones. Look at the TGs with whom you come into contact. Do they make the grade? How do you compare to them? This is not a contest amongst TGs - it is a matter of survival for all of us.

Yes, you are supposed to try. This is not just for yourself - it's for all of us, and for those yet to come.

"Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get." (George Bernard Shaw)