My mirror, my self…

Miri
4 min readDec 29, 2023

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My mirror is the place I find myself most days.

Photo by Taylor Smith on Unsplash

It would be pathetic if it wasn’t so satisfying.

Women the world over for millenia have checked the mirror, and are,yes, doing it today! [Sometimes multiple times a day -allthose selfies!!] - and I’m starting to think that a lot of the feminine identity is supported by the reassurance we take away from our mirrors.

In our mirrors we see ourselves as we want to be seen. I have been dismayed how a photo of myself in real life somehow shows a lot of dissonance in my image, and I didn’t see any of it in the mirror. Looking in the mirror, I am unconsciously making the adjustments a lover makes, to see and feel what our beloved wants us to see and feel.

I am very motivated when I look in the mirror. My hidden self is so lonely, and in the mirror I find my special friend- the one who is like me, who calls me forth, looks me in the eye, and says, “Look at me, darling. I know you and accept you, and our wish to be seen is fulfilled in this moment. We are here alone and can enjoy this moment fully! In our perfect world, we would now go out the front door and engage with the wonderful array of possibilities, and people that awaits us!

I learned to sew so I could make alterations to my women’s clothes — to enhance their fit of my male body, to embrace my breasts and give me a hug around the waist, to flare at the hips and swish in the motion of my body, and through my choices of color and pattern, and careful alignments of seams, to draw the observer’s eye into a vortex of warm satisfaction in visual pleasure.

I am presenting to them my mirror image, and hope that warm satisfaction will outweigh, for a few moments, their allegiance to the cold and cruel rules of the gender binary- after all, they were imposed on them, too.

In my mirror is my virtual self- and in the mirror, invisible, is a host of the friends and strangers who form a wonderful community.

If only I could live in the mirror.

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Well, I try. I leave the mirror to go make lunch! Then somedays, feeling my isolation, I film myself, creating a live action mirror to enjoy again!

Miri in her kitchen, wearing a very cute skater style white club dress, seen from her right side, with her head turned to see us, watching her, and finding her fetching, she believes..
Miri enjoying a moment!

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Of course, yes, as we all know too well, we need to work and go shopping for food. And we want to badly to have that wonderful community in our lives that are lived on this side of the mirror.

Perhaps it is so hard because everyone has a mirror, and in all those mirrors are so many different versions of what a person can be like. Things that people want to try out, things they have been told they must do to succeed, beliefs about when a cute white dress is appropriate… ! Human society is a complex system.

I am grateful we have some advantages now, ways to reach out and find more people IRL who are like the people we imagine in our mirror- who see us more or less like we see ourselves. That is a blessing.

Medium is a hall of mirrors- in which we speak to our mirrors and others can see our mirror images, and — yes, a thousand words is almost a picture.

Daily life is also a hall of mirrors, of course. Face to face meetings in life are where we can see ourselves in the eyes of others, with prejudices or overeager dreams somewhat susceptible to minute by minute learning about each other.

Finding so many other transwomen of my generation on Medium, I started a meetup to see if it might somehow become a community of live mirrors. It didn’t. I think most of us live in thin slices of time, escaping when the opportunity arises into twining tunnels of hope and dreams. Perhaps many of us only find ourselves in unplanned moments, and then the moments collapse into the obligations of our lives.

Perhaps my mirror is just like a great book, where emotionally informative storytelling masquerades as well articulated reality. Yes, in that don’t we all live large, for delicious moments!

Miri

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Miri

We can all help each other a lot by freely expressing our gender