(I think Susan looks terrific, by the way, especially when you remember all she's been through this year alone.)
She had spent years planning for this day. In the last month, she had frantically built a wardrobe, learned makeup, fretted over her too-short hair. She thought she looked good. Pretty. Professional.
Her debut would come after four decades of self-examination, in the dust of a leader's best-laid plans, in the remnants of her family. It glowed with the promise of possibility. Like new skin.
But what if others didn't see her the way she saw herself?
She had already lost her job, her friends and her home -- the things that gave her an identity -- for admitting she wasn't the person they knew. Now that she was showing them a second self, would they reject that person too?
She knew that some people would never even see Susan Ashley Stanton.
They would see a man in a dress.
Shedding a life usually means starting over, quietly, somewhere else. Slip town. Get a new job in a place no one knows your name.
For Steve Stanton, that wasn't an option.
Also at Shakesville and Pushing Rope.