This is a repost from my Tumblr that I wrote yesterday, edited for this blog. Included a post-retrospective of sorts afterward.
I make no point to hide who I am, but I’m also very aware that I am not as visibly trans as others. I never go out without basic cover-up or doing my usual makeup routine. That includes nearly all photos of me. So out of respect, I won’t be posting a photo and will aim just to increase awareness and, hopefully, encourage those that are actually being misgendered repeatedly among other things.
If you would like to know more about my journey, please click my “Coming Out Story” link at the top of the page which has my publicly posted coming-out video along with a transcript in case you prefer reading. The page includes a few links for people who don’t quite understand what it means to be trans as well as links to trans journalists/writers that I’ve enjoyed reading.
I’ve come a very long way in accepting, loving, and figuring out who my self is. I do have moments where I don’t always feel pretty or decidedly “female”, but that comes with the territory in my case. Dysphoria still resides in some ways, but I’m learning to get past it as I become more self-assured. Besides, I’m only 1 1/2 years old into my transition and my journey continues today, albeit still with many bumps in the road.
Yes, it can get better, but for those who may be questioning or are more visibly trans than others, it’s not that easy to just say “it gets better.” Just getting up and walking out the door can be exceedingly stressful and panic-inducing. I would encourage those who are trying to be a part of the change to use that phrase sparingly, and perhaps offer a safe haven (physically or socially) for those people who truly are struggling with things like going to the bathroom. The fear is real and many trans people need you just like I needed my girl friends.
Most of all, you can easily make a difference in someone’s life and truly show your support by simply asking which pronouns they prefer. Or if you don’t feel comfortable asking, simply use their name when meeting someone who has a different gender identity/presentation than what you may think. Don’t assume and always be aware that we are doing our very best to live authentic lives. Ignoring our truth is erasing who we KNOW we are, damages our already fragile sense of self-worth, and, in the wrong place, could open us up to harassment and other forms of abuse.
We all are human, beautiful in our own ways, and deserve the same kind of love and human privileges as any other cisgender person. Hopefully, that time will come as we make ourselves known on days like this.
Writing this, and having retrospect after a number of hours, did open my eyes to what it can mean to be “visible.” I was only looking at it from one angle in my hurriedness to be involved after finding out late due to being in the midst of a residential transition.
Though I avoid being “visibly trans” publicly for my own safety (and I love feeling pretty/cute/confident/put-together by virtue – so sue me for being self-conscious), I am not “stealth” by any means. I am, in fact, visible in that I have & will talk to anyone about my trans narrative and share information/advice on how to better understand those who identify as transgender. I can also be visible by sharing those buried photos of how growing, questioning, and ultimately accepting who I am changed me for the better physically, socially, and emotionally.
Though the day has passed, I’ll be more prepared next time to have something people can see & hopefully relate to for themselves.