I have a couple of opportunities coming up to express rather femme, but I just don’t know how far to go.

These include an academic conference later this week, a week in Vegas at the end of July, some time back in my previous home in Michigan, and time with old college friends this summer.

At the conference this week, I’m kind of torn. It’s a conference on diversity, so it’s pretty safe to say that it will be a safe space. On the other hand, at least four of my colleagues will be coming with me, and only one of them knows anything about me being trans. Another one is on my tenure committee, and a third I consider a friend. That leaves the fourth one, who is rather influential on campus, but I don’t quite know how to read her. I think there will be makeup and leggings, but I don’t think skirts, dresses, or heels are on the table for this one.

The time in Vegas will be spent with a bunch of queer people, though they will be otherwise occupied with some events. I’m along for the ride. So I can go fully femme for this if I so choose. The question revolves around how bold I feel, especially when I will probably be spending a decent amount of time alone. Can I handle the public reactions? What if I’m confronted? I don’t really know how to take that part, though why these would be different from potential confrontations at home I can’t be sure. Skirts and dresses and heels are in play for this trip.

Then there are the other two trips: my previous home and my old friends. This is a lot harder for me, almost as hard as talking to family will be. I mean, these are people who know me as I was, as I’ve hidden. Do I really want to spend what will equate to close to two weeks explaining myself to people? Or just making them uncomfortable? I guess I don’t know what path to take there. I mean, I want to express myself, but I don’t want to be so far away from who I was that no one knows how to talk to me.

This is why it’s sometimes easier to consider just breaking cleanly with the past and starting over. Granted, I’ve kind of done that, but there’s still a couple of cords left to cut.

It’s a lot to think about.