Shortly after writing my previous post I sent a message out on Facebook to everyone on my friends list that I am transgender. Later that day I sent an email out to my team at work. Needless to say my life recently has been hectic. Everyone was incredibly supportive and it was a challenge trying to respond to everything. This has been my biggest fear for as long as I can remember and it’s gone surprisingly well.
The fear of exposure has haunted my since childhood, I felt that the whole world would turn against me. The reality has been that I have some incredible effing friends. Until now I didn’t appreciate just how lucky I really am. Thanks again to everyone I know personally who might be reading this, your support has been amazing.
One thing that stood out to me among all the well wishing was the number of times people said something along the lines of “I’m glad you’re finding your happiness.” or some such. I appreciate the sentiment, really I do, but that’s also a somewhat inaccurate assessment of what transition is about. I mean sure I want to be happy and being pretty does make me happy. But it’s not like there were never moments of happiness before, and there have certainly been some pretty awful moments as a result of this transition.
To me it’s about finally being honest with myself and in the way I interact with the world. I have spent my life in constant struggle with my instincts, the moment I learned something was feminine I consciously avoided doing it. This included things like making sure I never crossed my legs and didn’t stick out my pinky finger while drinking tea. I’ve dropped all that nonsense, I am starting to dress and act in the way that I am most comfortable, i.e. the way that requires the least mental effort.
Painting my nails relaxes me, I enjoy having smooth soft skin and wearing pretty jewelry. I don’t feel ashamed for liking certain songs, or walking in a particular way. I look at a dress in a store window and stop to ponder just how it would look and feel on me. Granted I still can’t actually work up the nerve to buy anything on my own, I went into a store to look at a cute leather jacket, then panicked and bailed when the attractive sales lady talked to me. Luckily my friend Matron has proven to be a good shopping buddy. Oh and that’s another thing to appreciate, having a totally plutonic female friend without worrying what people think. Matron you are a rockstar.
The days following my coming out have been demanding, but in a good way. There’s still one very important person I haven’t talked to. My Aunt. Aside from my mother she is the most significant female role model in my life. She is the one who taught me about feminism and the need for true equality and understanding. I’m not sure I can articulate why talking to her scares me more than anyone else, including literally everyone else. She knows by now, she no doubt wonders why I’ve put the conversation off.
To me she represents the ideal of womanhood, she is the strongest and most intelligent person I have ever known. One of the reasons I’ve avoided transition is that I felt like an interloper, as if I would be treading somewhere I didn’t belong. If femininity was the forbidden country she is the almighty queen. I know she holds me in high esteem and have no doubt she will support me, but it’s still oddly intimidating for me. More so even than shopping.