La Traviata

In 2018, about half a year after coming out, I found myself often in chatrooms fro crossdressers and transgenders. It was wonderful to be able to connect with other people on the same journey. One conversation let me to go out to the Opera in Hamburg.

As I was in the chatrooms often, I had made a lot of friends. And it was wonderful to find people who understand you and with whom you can talk about what you feel and what keeps you busy. At times we would talk about things in a group and sometimes we would open up a separate chat to get one-on-one.

At this time I had not been out a lot, and I was unsure of what I felt, or which label applied to me. One evening a wonderful transgender woman, was sharing her story how she would go out to Hamburg every year, to have a couple of days for herself. As she had not come out to friends and family, it was her way to connect with her true self.

I admired her for her courage to make such a decision for herself, so I kept asking questions. My friend Cindy did the same. At a certain moment she asked us if we wanted to join her next time. She said it would be fun and she would love to spend time together. In the chatroom, many wishes got shared often, but most were just like daydreams. This felt different, the way she said this, made things very real.

It sounded so exciting, but would I really have the courage to do this? My mind went wild. How would this work? It would be amazing. But then, I had never met her. Cindy opened up a private chat with me. She clearly was having the same thoughts. It sounded amazing and exciting, yet we were both clearly nervous. However the idea of being able to spend a couple of days as Liv and make new friends, was amazing. Normally I would really think it over and take time before making a decision. But this time I thought it would be nice to just do it. Chatting with Cindy, we both agreed that it would be fun. So within minutes, we said yes.

And so it happened. Before I knew I was packing my clothes to go on a trip to Hamburg. I would go by car, and Cindy, as she lived in the UK at the time, would fly in. I didn’t have the courage to tell my wife, so I kept it quiet and told her that I would have to work in Hamburg for a couple of days. I couldn’t wait for the day to come that I would drive to Hamburg.

When I arrived in Hamburg and had dressed up, our wonderful guide texted me. She had arrived the day before and we had agreed she would pick me up. One last check in the mirror and I went out to meet her. She was very kind and so nice, that I started to calm down immediately. She took me out shopping and it was a great experience to see how comfortable she was in shops. She asked the staff for help and really helped me to loosen up. We had a wonderful day and met Cindy over dinner. As always Cindy looked amazing, as she has wonderful taste in outfits. I was really amazed to learn Cindy had not been out on her own before. I don’t remember much of the dinner, other than that we had a great time and I felt so free and happy.

The highlight of our trip to Hamburg was our night out to the Opera. Guiseppe Verdi’s ”La Traviata“. We had been planning what to wear for weeks and ended up with going glammed up in black evening dresses. We met at a hotel across the opera building and we were all very excited. I had never been to an opera before, and never been out feeling this glamourous. Looking back my makeup skills were poor, but it didn’t matter, as I just felt wonderful.

When we arrived at the opera building I saw many people look at us, but with respect. I have not heard any negative remark and we only had nice interactions with other people. When I walked across the foyer, I had eye contact with a lady. She smiled and looked with a kind of admiration. As if she wanted to tell me I looked fab. Needless to say I felt amazing.

We received a lot of attention, in a positive way. Not in the least since we had really taken the effort to dress up, while some of the women there were wearing jeans. We told each other, they must have been a bit jealous at us. The night is one to never forget. Feeling beautiful, being able to be me, with two amazing friends, in a setting that felt like a fairy tale. We talked for long about this night.

The next day it was tough to say goodbye to two wonderful women. Two friends, with whom I had shared this special time in my life. Two friends, who helped me build my confidence and get closer to myself. It was wonderful to live three days being true to me. I am so thankful for this experience.

People in Hamburg are open minded and friendly, I really felt alive and accepted. Being with friends took away the stress I used to have when going out alone, as we could support each other. I believe our joint confidence radiated to others and made people react positively on us.

This trip has taught me to create opportunities for yourself. Whether it is alone or with friends. I am looking forward to the time I can go out again. Until then memories like this keep me going.

hugs,

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