This article is originally published in The Ladyboy Mirror (http://ladyboymirror.com/2012/07/02/keeping-up-appearances/) another site of mine
There are times that I would be consumed of fear. This fear is coming from worrying of what other people might say or think. I have lost (or I thought I have lost this trait already which was always consuming me before my transition period. That fears and worries have made me change my extreme feministic mannerism into pretending-to-be cool guy, bald+beard, boy on the block when I arrived here in the Netherlands.
When I arrived here in the Netherlands 29th of October 2002, my tendency of being a shemale, transgender, or those men who wear female cloths who claim to be having emotions that do not concord to their biological anatomy was very clear. I have already had long hair, make-up was lighter than I do now, and take not of this: high heels and a shoulder bag. I change this style of clothing for the reason that when I arrived here in the Netherlands was my first time to feel that I am different. I already knew that I am a different kind since I was starting to be conscious about my environment, but not like this kind of “different”. As I arrived in Schiphol that early morning people stared at me as if I was an alien. Some people stared at me with judgemental look and contempt as if I have leprosy. It was the first time I felt ashamed of my sexual identity. It was the first time in my life that I felt abnormal. was that I will not be able to perform a task, things that I like, and make a decision. After a month I decided to cut my hair, buy more male’s clothes, kept all my make-ups, my high heels was kept on the cupboard. For more than six years, I lived the life that that is not mine. Those were the most depressing moments of my life, because even though I have everything I could ask for in relation to what I had when I was still in the Philippines, there is still the void and emptiness that no one or nothing can satisfy, except my honesty to myself.
After a very thorough consideration, I have finally decided to move to Amsterdam. It was the autumn of 2008 after I arrived back here in the Netherlands from my trip in Australia. I thought, if I would really want to live my life, I will not be able to do it here in Eindhoven. I should be in the big city – the world city Amsterdam – where the people are open minded and would accept the societal fact that we are fragmented. At least that is what I thought. There is no huge difference between Amsterdam and Eindhoven. That is why I have eventually decided to come back home. At least here in Eindhoven, I am not alone. At least here, there is a place where I truly belong.
In the first phase of my transition, I am shameless. I always used to say, If I would always think about what other people might think and say, I would die early and I would die very unhappy. The first huge step of going back to whom I really am was difficult, but I made it. After several years, I am still living the life of who truly I am. There is nothing so precious to me in the world than authenticity. Being and living as Rica makes me feel I am authentic and unique. I do not fool other people. I do not fool myself. However, the exact period I do not know – it happened gradually – that I am going back to that old traits of mine: FEARFUL AND WORRIES A LOT ABOUT OPINION OF PEOPLE AROUND ME, WHOM I ACTUALLY DO NOT KNOW OR DO NOT CARE ABOUT VICE VERSA – but this time even more difficult not to be noticed.
I already felt different when I was still presenting myself according to my biological body. I do still get the looks and the comments because I am coloured. And let us admit it, even though how much I try to hide my femenistic side, it just come out naturally with flamboyance and flair. I will even hear people say as they are shocked “oh my god, I know you were gay”. The price of loving myself and chosing for what will make me happy is double the attention that I get before plus triple the comments I get from public. Yes darling, I live a celebrity life. I am not exaggerating. I would see some people taking pictures of me. They are not even trying to be discreet about it. In the beginning of my transition, I could just raise up my eye brow and say to myself I DO NOT CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK. Unfortunately lately, I am starting to walk eyes downward again, consious about my enfironment, and worried about what people might think and say. Non-sense of course, but I cannot help it. This is how strong society is that even though how much you fight not to go with the flow, you will eventually find yourself to be conforming.
Before, at the back of my mind, Raymond and Rica are two different and separate entity. The insult for Rica would not affect Raymond. The fact however, is that Raymond and Rica are the same. Sometimes I feel really good when my old friends and aquaintances would mistakenly call me Raymond. As I embrace and truly admit the fact that none of them is an alter-ego the more I feel the old negative traits of over consious with my society.
My appologies for that person I stood up. This is the reason behind it. I just do not underestimate my neighbours. Funny is it that at home where you should be yourself is where you actually and constantly keeping up appearances.