I am getting the hang of this transition thing. It should come as no surprise that there was a lot of anxiety leading up to the decision to transition. What if it ruined my life? What if nobody accepted me? What if? What IF?? WHAT IF???
It is hard to view things in terms of right and wrong. I do not definitively know if transition was the right thing to do and I never will. It sure seems better than the alternative seemed at the time.
I wish transition was more socially acceptable. It is frightening being me at times. That is an unfortunate consequence. The positives do outweigh the negatives, believe it or not.
People frequently tell me how brave I am. It is an unusual compliment considering my bravest act happens to be growing boobs. I am hardly alone in the brave and risky world of boob horticulture. People all over the world grow them. People seem to like boobs. Of all the sexual primary and secondary characteristics male or female, I would venture to guess boobs are the most popular. We are all born attracted to boobs. And yet, I am brave for growing them.
I have learned to take the compliment. People tell me I am brave for many reasons. Some just do not know how else to show their support. Some really think I transition for the thrill of it. Some recognize the risk involved in the real world for a woman like me. I do not feel particularly brave. I know people who surf the North Shore in Winter. THEY are brave! And yet, I do not know one of them who would dare do what I am doing. It does not mean they aren’t brave. It means they aren’t trans.
Gender dysphoria is so depressing, I do not know many trans folk who went, “You know, I am brave enough to do this crazy thing.” rather, they tend to come to the realization, “I can’t NOT transition.” The decision to transition is more often than not, a cathartic, “Fuck it!”
Even then, there are obstacles. In so many ways, I realize how easy I have had it. I frequently wish I had started this process sooner but, when I chat with people who transitioned 15-20 years ago, when I last considered starting, I realize how hard they had it back then, and I find myself thinking, “You are so brave!”
Being trans is still easily misunderstood, but compared to the turn of the millennium, laws and understanding have come a long way. Also, I am older and my peers are older. I have to imagine that in this day and age, with social media and, the maturity that comes with nearing forty, things are much easier for folks like me than they were not too long ago.
Even now, depending on where a person lives, they may not have options that make transition an easy option. Gatekeepers (psychologists that withhold allowing their patients to transition so they can make more money by continued treatments) can now be bypassed by going to a doctor who practices informed consent. The thing is, there are not always doctors nearby who are willing to treat trans patients without a psychological diagnosis. That blows my mind. How does a psychologist determine if I am trans enough to transition? How do I know I am trans? How do you know you aren’t? I just know it with every fibre of my boobs… er… being. Every fiber of my being.
There is no bravery in being born trans. Just the condition of being wired differently than the average person.
I do not talk about this much in this blog, but I practice gender fluidity. I am frequently in, “Guy mode”. I do this for many reasons but one of them is I really am not that brave. When I am alone, I find it safer to go out as a man. A man with long hair, long nails and waxed eyebrows, boobs… but still, a man. Also, I have a ton of male clothing and most of it fits me better than my female clothing. I get self conscious easily, so lounging around in shorts and a t shirt is frequently more relaxing.
Now, I do not socialize in, “Guy mode”. I am out to all my friends and the vast majority of them remained. It is less frightening being myself when surrounded by people I know than when I am alone in the wilderness of the public eye.