August 2005

At this time, I was a member of a support group for crossdressers. I was trying to reach out, to learn other people's experiences in an effort to try to understand what I was about. Most of this group's activities consisted of sitting around the meeting room for a couple of hours, "dressed", talking amongst ourselves, or sitting around a gay bar for a couple of hours, "dressed", talking amongst ourselves. I was not much for bars, gay, grumpy, or otherwise; I had pretty much had it with bars by the time my first tour of duty in college was over, twenty-seven years before. Neither was I happy about being cooped up in a tiny room; it reminded me too much of the inside of The Closet. What gave me satisfaction was doing Real Things™ in the Real World™ like a Real Person™, such as this afternoon spent at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park.

The problem was that I still couldn't be Just Another Person™; I had to hurry around the back way to the bus stop, fervently hoping that I would not be noticed by anyone who knew me or my partner; get where I was going and do what I had planned to do, fervently hoping that I would not be noticed by anyone who knew me or my partner; then board the bus, get back and hurry around the back way to my home, fervently hoping that I would not be noticed by anyone who knew me or my partner. In other words, I was still in The Closet, albeit a somewhat larger Closet.

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