On August 3, 2014, I posted a video very early in the morning to my Facebook page. As that day also was my birthday, I knew that this would be the optimal time to share my story publicly even though I had been living through as a female – ups, downs, and all – for the past year. As expected, more than half of my 300+ “friends” flocked to my profile over the course of the day and the floodgates were opened.
Finally, I was free…You can watch said video on my new blog Page.
The most common comments I received were praising my overall courage to come out in this way. In a separate Facebook update, I wrote the following:
My biggest fear was not coming out publicly. It was whether my diligent, yet shoddy memorization of my speech would harm the earnest, meaningful connection I wanted this video to achieve. I NEVER expected this kind of reception of people calling it “inspirational” and “eloquent”. It’s been more successful as a tool to motivate and encourage than I ever imagined and I’m extremely humbled by this. Now I can rest easy knowing that someone on the outside may have a chance to be uplifted by my message & encouraged to be who they are.
Though I never updated this blog very often, the reason for that from March until now was due to me pouring my energy into memorizing and modifying my coming out speech. I wanted to make absolute sure that everything that was necessary to be said was said. I wanted to make sure that my words were accessible and comprehensible to anyone with or without knowledge of the transgender community.
I didn’t want to have to explain/justify my humanity to anyone ever again. The choice I made to go on camera was the best one I could have ever made. The positive reception I received was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life. Though no games were won, I felt like I had overcome the last barricade and become the victor of my own identity.
With that said, coming out publicly basically makes this blog obsolete…but I had already anticipated feeling like this. And I don’t think this is the end.
I’m very much in a place where I’m happy with having done this, but it’s a strange sense of complacency that is extremely awkward for me. Everyone who cares about me now knows, and it’s odd no longer having to keep myself hidden and silent in my online social circles. I’ve been thanking so many people for their kindness and support that I’m really just trying to return to a sense of normalcy in my mind & heart. I feel the weight of 100+ people getting used to this “new” me when I’m still who I’ve always been…
Coming out is not a free pass to feel entitled when a ton of people are having to adjust to who I am. I guess being told over and over how “proud” someone is of me makes such a thing tempting when I can’t remember ever being told that as a child, teen, or college graduate. It’s surreal, scary in a way, and I’m finally starting to clear away the smoke from all the fireworks.
I’m glad I did this, even if I still don’t have the support from family members save my sister. I don’t want to feel any different, but I do. There really is no going back, not that I want to. It’s the perceptive scope of having done this that makes me uneasy. I suppose what I’m experiencing is a mixture of apprehension, happiness, self-doubt, and relief. All these emotions pushing on my psyche have kept me in a limbo state of complacency, exposed and unrestrained.
I know what this means. I can finally get on with living my life. Writing in this blog, engaging on social media, feeling like I’m alive & whole both on & offline, etc. I was happier before I came out online, and now…I don’t want to be known as the “transgender friend”. I just want people to see that I’m only human. That I’m just a girl wanting to be loved and accepted just like any other…
My coming out video was for them, not for me. I haven’t changed, and yet everything feels so different…