I call this time in the mid 1980's my validation time.
I was still struggling with the fact that dressing trashy versus classy was not the way to go and teasing truckers on the interstate with a hiked up skirt was not going to work. Plus I still couldn't get it through my thick noggin why it wouldn't.
Very basically a cross dresser dresses for what a man wants to see and a transgender woman (in order to survive in the world) must take into consideration what women want to see too.
After yet another viscous fight between my wife and I, she said "You make a terrible woman." Of course I was devastated! All the work shaving my legs and mirror worship just couldn't be wrong. Then she said, "I'm not referring to the way you look. I am referring to the way you act and think."
You would have thought even I would begin to get through my thick noggin what she was talking about and for once I was getting a glimmer of hope. On my trips out cross dressed, I was beginning to notice more of the world around me. About this time too, my wife would even go out with me to dinner in Columbus. So if I didn't "dress like a slut" (as she put it) I would have even more chances to live as a woman. The more I lived it-the more I loved it.
About this time was when transgender began to creep into the public's vocabulary replacing the all encompassing transvestites or transsexuals on either end of the spectrum. I began to think-could transgender be me?
Shortly we moved back up towards Columbus, Ohio and I became involved with one of the most diverse groups within a group I had ever seen or been involved with.
I was about to find another dime and have a real idea what validation really meant.