Monday, November 29, 2021

My Trip with Anna: A Journey to Enlightenment

A true story by Paulette Parfois
Paulette Parfois

Having lived on this planet for 70+ years, I continue to marvel over how life teaches us lessons when we least expect it. One of the most life-changing moments in my life occurred several years ago when my wife and I were waiting to board an overnight flight (a “red eye” to us Road Warriors) from Denver to Miami.

We were sitting in the embarkation area waiting to board our flight. A young woman came and sat across from us. It was readily apparent she was either a crossdresser or transsexual and she was not passing very well.

At the time, I was a senior executive for a major US cable television company and to be honest, I was “full of myself.” To make matters worse, I was in a particular snarky mood that night and began texting unflattering comments about her to my wife. I was impressed by my witty and acerbic commentary and was quietly chuckling to myself. 

The time came to board and since we had early boarding, we were some of the first to get on the plane. We sat down across the aisle from one another (my wife and I both prefer aisle seats). 

Shortly thereafter, general boarding began and I noticed the young woman coming down the aisle. I texted to my wife “just my luck she sits next to me.” Just as I hit the send button, a masculine sounding voice said, “Pardon me. I think I have the seat next to you.” Yes, it was her!

As she settled into her seat, we exchanged polite pleasantries as airline passengers tend to do. She told me her name was Anna. Since I was looking forward to some sleep and was more than slightly annoyed she was sitting next to me, I tried my best to keep my replies short. However, she was so pleasant and engaging I could not help but to respond. 

She told me she was an archaeologist and taught at a university in the Denver area. My wife, who has a passion for archaeology, heard her and perked up from her light dozing. After some discussion about archeology and my wife’s experiences as an amateur archaeologist, the subject changed to Anna’s transition. 

Anna told us how she had only recently completed transitioning and that she was returning to her hometown for her 20th high school reunion. She said she was from a small town on the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee. Having lived in Florida about the time Anna was in high school, I recalled that her hometown had a reputation of being kind of a “deep-in-the-swamp” town and not too receptive to those different from them.

Anna told us she had not been back home for several years and that her family had not seen her since her transition. She was more than a little apprehensive about the welcome she was going to receive. 

As she told her story about her struggles and with coming to terms with her gender identity, I found myself enthralled by her courage and determination. I also was thinking about what kind of reception she was going to receive in her hometown.

To make a long story short, the three of us talked and laughed the whole flight (I am sure much to the annoyance of fellow passengers trying to get some sleep).

When the plane arrived in Miami, I found myself wishing the flight was longer. As we started to embark, I reached over and hugged Anna and told her she would be in our prayers during the coming days. She sweetly smiled and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I almost broke down and cried. 

We promised to keep in touch as passengers on long flights tend to do, but we never did. However, she has remained in my thoughts for all these years. I hope it worked out for her and she is comfortable with her new life. I have silently thanked her many times over the years for bringing me from being opinionated and bigoted to becoming compassionate and understanding.

As I said, life has a way of teaching us lessons we never expected to learn. When I began my adventure crossdressing as Paulette, Anna’s example of fortitude and courage allowed me to fully appreciate the diversity and beauty in people. So, thank you, Anna from the bottom of my heart. You are and will always be a bright beacon in my journey as Paulette. 

Life is good and its lessons are lasting!

Source: J.ING
Wearing J.ING

Femulate reader Caro toasting a friend on her birthday.



    1. OMG--that link is an AMAZING find!!!

    2. One thing I am good at is finding stuff on the web. Pretty easy search. Anna Trans Archeology

  2. What an inspiring post! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Hi Cyrsti, It was something I needed to say for a long time. Anna has been such an inspiration to me. She knew she was not pretty but she made up for it with such cheerfulness and warmth it was infectious. A good lesson for us girls when we may sometimes feel unworthy or diminished. Hugs, Paulette

  3. Walking a mile in HER PUMPS...

    Thanks for the great story.
    I am sure your readers have a million questions...
    Did your wife know of your 'interests' at that time?
    Thanks, Velma

    1. No Velma, she did not. In fact at that time I was in denial. When I resumed femulating about four years ago I revealed everything to her. To make a long story short, she went from where she literally threw up the first time she met Paulete, to where now she is buying her outfits. I probably would have stayed in the closet if I had not recalled Anna's courage in facing the situation head-on. Hugs, Paulette

    2. Velma (again)
      How do you see your 'snarky texts' about Anna to your wife now?
      Was part of your messaging efforts an effort to draw out an opinion about the 'trans person'? The reason I ask this is that I had used a similar tactic, as well as a fellow cd/tg friend always asking his future wife her opinions on characters on RuPauls' Drag Race,...

      Did your wifes' positive rapport with Anna offer any positive message that she might be accepting of you in the future as 'Paulette'?
      Oh, BTW, your photo is great and it gives you a convincing age in the 'high thirties'-- knocking at least 30 years off your appearance age!
      I am glad your own story had a 'soft landing' and 'happy ending'.
      If you have not read my own story, google 'Femulation and other matters'.

    3. Hi Velma, My wife was pretty much ignoring me that night, as she frequency does when I am a 'butt head'. My wife has always been more accepting than I. Her Maid of Honor (and best friend) at our wedding was a lesbian. And I thought I was pretty open as well, since I never had a problem hiring someone knowing their sexual orientation. But, as I said earlier, I think in this case it was more denial on my part since I had not crossdressed in over forty years.

      Interestingly enough my wife mentioned Anna this morning saying not a day goes by she does not think about her. And I think you are right Anna had a lot to do with her acceptance of Paulette. But also, we have always been very open with one another so while it was a bit unsettling I just HAD to tell her. I am headed to 'past posts' to read your story. I suspect it's going to be very informative. Take care Lovely Lady, Paulette

  4. This is an interesting story and an insight to internalized transphobia a lot of trans people have. Paulette said things to mock Anna initially when she first saw Anna- as if to say, look at me, I am so masculine. Anna and other trans presenting people like her face that kind of mockery and cis-gaze every single day. May be Paulette was scared that any kind word towards Anna and she will be "outed" to her spouse. Happens to a lot of us, doesn't it? How many transwomen have tried to prove their masculinity one way or others, simply because they are in denial or trying very hard to hide who they really are? I had once posed this question to a group of queer women of color and the response was- this is a survival mechanism. All of us trans people are worried about losing something- family, friends, job, place in society, their life? So the sad truth is, we end up mocking trans people who are out and about as means of siding with the "cis-majority" who we think would do the same. May be next time when you see a trans person and you are not "out" yet, make sure that they are "seen" as who they are, do not judge them (not passing well, man hands, look like a "man" etc. etc.) because one day it will be your turn to be "that trans person" in public and you will be glad that your one good turn will earn you a good turn in return from a kindred soul!

    1. Freud was right.
      You TOO! Olivia!

      What you are clearly describing is known as
      "Freuds Reaction Formation"
      do review

      This type of behavior is currently running rampant in the Rabid Right Wing Republican party-- constantly pontificating PIETY from one side of the 'collective mouth' --reinforcing false beliefs and creating false demons of racial, and sexual and intellectual outsiders and then telling lies from the other side.

      These people are simply killing the CHRISTIANITY BRAND-- ONE LIE AT A TIME.

    2. So very true ! I totally agree , when one sees a trans-person out shopping , just a kind smile or a little friendly small talk goes a long way and will always be remembered .


  5. AnonymousMay 16, 2022

    Anna and she will be "outed"