It Gets Better
When I first started to take my gender issues seriously I read literally everything I could find. For over a year I poured over every article and scrap of info that Google could present me with. I constantly refreshed Reddit and WordPress, desperate for more tidbits to help understand my own inner workings.
As the reality of transition began to sink in writing became my outlet. I had a lot to say and it felt really good to get everything on paper. It didn’t matter who was reading it, though it’s always nice to be noticed. Reading my old entries reminds me I had felt pretty dark at times.
In retrospect this was the feeling of stepping into blinding light after decades of shadow. Feelings of uncertainty, stigma and internalized transphobia won’t dissipate overnight. There were days where I did little more than lie on the couch staring at nothing. Each morning I looked in the mirror, wondering as always, what do other people see?
Then there were times when I looked at myself and was astounded by just how much I liked the person staring back. I’ve come to realize my transition has been life long. Furrowed brow and averted gaze have become warm smiles and earnest welcome. There was no single moment when things changed. It was just little by little, each and every day.
More and more I felt like going out and doing things. Books and video games, still nice, have begun to diminish in their appeal. I want to leave the house, talk to people, be a part of the world. I volunteer at church. I joined the choir. I found supportive environments and made friends.
My emotions have settled from a wild rollercoaster into a gentle curve. With reduced anxiety I have less and less to write about. I recently bought a condo. I’ve been living here for just over two weeks. Good location, close to my church. Some of the best restaurants in the city are only a few blocks away. Work is going well, most people are super nice, though from time to time someone I knew before transitioning will misgender or dead name me. It sucks but I’m able to walk away from it.
When I’m out and about there are still a few stares, but most people ignore me. I think by and large I am accepted as female. More importantly I accept myself as female. I’ve developed a better understanding of what that means. And with that understanding comes an awareness that it really doesn’t matter to anyone but me.
Tragic narratives are far too common and every single one needs to be taken seriously. One thing I don’t read enough of are positive stories. The accounts of people whose lives didn’t turn to utter shit. More and more I’m seeing those stories, and I realize that, so far mine is one of them. The world is still a harsh place for gender non conformity, but things are improving. I guess what I’m saying is don’t give up the fight