For me to say that things have been going well would be a lie, but also the truth. I haven’t experienced any pain or loss since I began pursuing my creative dreams in March, but I have struggled and tussled with inner uncertainties that continue to emerge as I evolve into the person I was meant to be. The further I walk down this path and the closer I get to coming out publicly, the more anxious I become…and the more disconcerting the future seems.
When people ask me how I am, I noticed my default answer has changed from “not great” or “just fine” to “up and down”. Because for me to say that life has not become more enriched and vibrant would be denouncing the joy I have felt from admitting who I am. Though, as I said, there are points at which I wonder if simply being a trans woman is the only way I should be identifying and thinking of my whole being. Especially when I know I don’t fall into any one transgender narrative.
The questioning of my identity has not ended. In fact, it has only become more relevant as my body gradually begins a second puberty. A puberty I wish I had experienced much earlier in life, and yet don’t believe (if I ever did to begin with) that I’ve always known I was female.
No, that isn’t the way it went for me.
For most of my life, I accepted what everyone said, what stared at me back in the mirror, and what biology gave me between my legs. Even now, when I chat online with friends, there is this prevalent male voice coming through more times than not. I even lived a good half of my life embracing of a sense of duality that led me to flip-flop between genders in my mind. I never wanted a “duality” in my gender identity. That thinking was birthed from my own acceptance that there was nothing I could do to live as the female I believed I should be. Duality was a reluctant attempt to survive this life, my short-lived romances, and seeing something I hated in the mirror every day by focusing on the facts and finding success in my strengths. So the knowledge I have obtained since I’ve truly come to terms with being trans led me to obviously dispel the farce entirely and immediately fall in line with the female side of my identity as soon as possible.
Except, the downside of this is much more undercut. The mass amounts of overall gender knowledge I have acquired and the flexibility that can exist when it comes to identifying oneself continues to serve as a hardship for me rather than a boon. The more I advocate that gender is nebulous and fluid, I am that much more sensitive to resisting the binary more than ever before. This, in turn, makes me question where I honest and truly stand in my own gender identity.
Am I not quite male? Am I more female? How do I really feel about myself? Is it just too soon in my transition for me to know for sure? Should I give myself more credit for having learned that I could escape the gender that I merely entertained? Is only identifying myself as a trans woman even correct for me?
And the worst, most irrelevant question any trans person could ask: Am I trans* enough to be taken seriously by other trans* people…?
It’s questions like these that have hounded me for weeks now, restricting my writer’s tongue from opening up within my memoir space. Dare someone call me a fake for not having concluded my self-exploration the moment I began HRT or came out to my mum and sister. I’ve always known there is a kind of strength that comes from admitting the truth of one’s beliefs and shortcomings.
I want to learn more who I am. I want to be a stronger female and release my mind of doubt’s fog. Merely saying “some things will just take time” is one of the grand understatements of humanity’s collective consciousness.