Over the last few weeks, I’ve gradually become accustomed to a number of things:
Like when I should use my current legal name for signage or important phone calls.
Or males letting me go first even though I’m unsure if saying “thank you” is ever appropriate.
And females staring at me in a nondescript fashion.
…Okay I haven’t quite gotten used to that last one, but I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not so much of my overall appearance as it is my unusual, piercing gray eyes…
At least I’d like to hope, but I digress.
It’s been nice to have done a bit of growing up to a point where I know who I am for myself and where I can avoid outing myself simply by signing my name. There are still many distinct moments of dysphoria, paranoia, and self-loathing – I’ve somehow gone full-time as a woman without ever fully realizing it until just now – but I feel it’s more important to remember the things that matter outside of being transgender.
Goals. Dreams. Hobbies. Friends. My self.
Living for so long confused and frustrated with who I had become due to society, family, and my own reasoning left me a mess. Some would say that accepting my trans status is just going to leave me in another mess on a grander scale logistically and socially. The truth is, these people who I am sure to encounter once I completely am out of the shadows might be right. Right in the sense that the path I’m on will be wrought with pain, discrimination, disappointment, fear, etc. And they will have the option to leave me behind or become a part of the problem many trans and gender fluid people face. You know what though? I knew that going in and I’m more loving & happier with my self-esteem/identity than I’ve ever been in my life the closer I get.
The honest truth boils down to this: I’m prepared to blend the accomplishments of my past with my present identity when the time is right. I earned them, and I will not leave one lie to create another lie about the precious ambitions I value. Those are a part of me and if I must be outed repeatedly in the public eye to do what I love, so be it.
Every week, I’m faced with the choice to either run away or keep walking forward. My way of living has always been of the latter prescription. Having a job to go to and constantly be walking the city streets really has grown my confidence and endurance to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Literally – I’m still finding a style of walking from years of forcing myself to appear more masculine. Because of that, I am daily in a position to experiment with various forms of style (with & sans makeup) and gradually become more set in my heart to just let the worries I’m fabricating on others’ behalf fade away. As is a popular meme ‘Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!’
A key element in my daily life has revealed another mental anchor for me. Doing my nails. I gave them a glittery rose color this weekend. Just one splash of it immediately put me in an inexplicably giddy mood comparable to being in love. When I was finished, it was like I was looking at someone else’s hands. The paint has begun to chip, but emotionally & mentally I don’t think I’ve been quite the same since. I can shift my attention away from who I thought I had to be and simply be, stomping out dysphoria. It’s like a personal trigger to remind me that this is right. That I’m a girl/woman worth being loved, even if I’m the only one doing the loving.
My point is that regardless of how far along a person is on their life journey, it’s important to not lose sight of the matters that take precedence over the difficult mountains. In my case, that mountain is becoming the person I never thought I could be, which I’ve been taking one appointment at a time while dealing with my mum refusing to use my new name until it’s legally changed. For someone else, it may be starting a new career or taking care of a family. Whatever it is, find your anchor that will keep you grounded and allow your eyes to gaze on what will make you a happier person. Doing so has helped me overcome fear and continue pursuing my goals regardless of how people do or don’t know me.
We are so much more than what people think they know.