My school, like so many, is closed on Memorial Day, which means a nice long weekend. I have the next two days to myself — no ex, no kids. The downside is that these next two days are the ones where my kids will meet my ex’s boyfriend for the first time. But, I’ve got no real choice other than to be okay with it. It’s not like I can stop her from seeing him, and asking her to keep the kids separate is just being a jerk about the whole thing. So I’m okay with it, and I get two days uninterrupted.
That means it’s time to kiss the beard goodbye — for good, this time.
I shaved it off in March, but at the time my dysphoria and depression were both messing with me and I was utterly demoralized by the face I found beneath the hair. I quickly let it grow back. This time, I’m in a much better place — a much more Ali place — and I think this is permanent, this time. In fact, I’ve already started sussing out an electrolysist in the area to make sure it’s permanent permanent.
At the last group therapy session, one of the women there commented on my beard. I was making excuses for why I hadn’t shaved it yet (people at work would notice, my kids would be alarmed, etc.), and she suggested that, subconsciously, it was a shield for me; that as long as I had the beard I was stopping myself from taking the risk of stepping out of the house as Ali. I can’t say she was entirely wrong. I don’t think I look good as a woman, regardless of my feelings about my gender; and in a way the beard was a hedge against it.
Lately, though, my weekend presentation has been getting increasingly androgynous. I’ve reached the point where I’ve got some pretty stealthy women’s shirts and jeans in my wardrobe, not to mention my hair (which is getting noticeably longer) and the purse I carry. Yesterday, I looked in the mirror before going out and I realized exactly how incongruous the beard was with the rest of the visual. Ali is coming out, whether I’m ready for her or not; and Ali is ready for the beard to go.
So it’s off to shave. Afterwards, I need to spend some time learning a new skill: covering a beard shadow with makeup. I guess it’s off to Google, to see what all the top crossdressers and drag queens have figured out about this little trick!