Coming out to people has been quite the experience. I am actually getting pretty used to doing it now. Sometimes people ask a lot of questions, sometimes they don’t seem to care. Every time is a little different. The support though, has been overwhelming. That said, the people who didn’t like me before transition still do not like me.
I can put up a strong front, and I am frequently surprised how many people fail to see through it. Truly, I have been insecure to the point of stagnation for over a year. I have not trusted myself. I have not trusted my sanity. I have burdened myself with guilt, shame and regret. Yet so many people see what I present, and I have presented strength, especially since I started to transition. At least online.
Only recently have I started to come out of seclusion in real life. Trust me, after playing a male for 37 years, walking even a single city block as myself and by myself is nerve wracking. You know what though? It has quickly taught me a huge lesson. I have nothing to be ashamed of, I have no reason to feel guilty and for God’s sake, I ain’t got time for regret.
Old habits die hard. I am vulnerable. I can and do revert to these old ways of thinking from time to time. I can also recover much faster than I used to.
I spent my life until now living in shame. Not shame of being trans, shame of failure to be myself. How could anyone accept me? I could not accept myself. I suspect several great potential friendships were stopped in their tracks because people could sense something was holding me back from true expression. That something was me. I held myself back. Not society. Not Christian school. Not family. Not theatre. Not teachers. Me.
Imagine how humbling it is to realize that the most transphobic person I have ever known is myself. I have been torturing a trans person for over thirty years.
Somebody would have to work fucking hard to hurt me more than I have already hurt myself. I am vulnerable. I embrace my vulnerability. I can be hurt. But this chick can take a LOT. Unless you can dish out more than I have already dished myself, stay the Hell out of my way.
I will continue to make mistakes. I will continue to say the wrong thing. I will continue my perfect streak of bad timing. And yes, I will probably continue to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I promise I will lay it on thick occasionally. I pledge to continue making an ass of myself.
But I am on a quest to replace my lingering guilt, regret and shame with wonderful and surprising new things. There are only so many hours in a day. There are only so many days in a lifetime.
I am indeed insecure. I am also an extrovert. That means y’all may have to listen to me give myself pep talks like this from time to time or read as I vent whatever emotions come to surface.
I am done with this self imposed exile. I make no apologies for who I am and who I intend to become. If I, the most transphobic person I have ever known, can learn to accept myself then y’all have a problem if you can’t do the same.