The Journey to Acceptance
PREFACE: I wrote this very early in my transition. It’s still “early days” but what’s written here is not all of current reality. Those posts will come I swear. Also even after I cleaned it up it's sort of a stream of thought mess, so be kind. This was originally written in a very difficult and emotional state of being. I post it only because I hope it might be of worth to someone.
I’m not sure if this will be a one off post or the first of many in the Saga of Transition. I don’t see this as a linear journey with the definite end. Though I think I’d like that to be the case. I suspect, like life in general, it will be full of ups and downs, pauses, setbacks, and struggles.
I can say in this moment that I accept that I am a transgender woman. I always have been, even if I was unaware of it. I feel it to be true.
I used to think it must be hard for any trans person to accept that they were born in the wrong body. For many it likely is, I don’t want to speak for everyone. But for me I think it was stupid easy. Once I ACTUALLY considered it.
I didn’t consider it for the longest time because I didn’t fit the narrative I thought to be true about trans people. That they just know. That they always knew. And I unequivocally did not always know. When I came to understand that many do not have this experience, but are still transgender it was eye-opening.
It all seems a little obvious in hindsight, but I thought things I felt were shared experiences with other men.
I thought that everyone hated their body hair and just lived with it.
I thought that all men thought often of what it would be like to have a vagina and uterus. Or the feeling of having something inside of you.
I thought that men grew beards because it’s easier than looking in the mirror and shaving.
I thought that most guys wish they were a girl.
I had completely decided to make due with the body I had, the one I didn’t care about. The one that just got me through the day.
If I said my thoughts out loud to anyone who knew half a shit about gender dysphoria they would have probably started me on my journey earlier.
But maybe it still would have taken me this long. I am no stranger to imposter syndrome. I feel like I’ve dealt with it throughout my life in school and work. I felt like if I tried, I failed. And when I didn't try I succeeded. I always felt like my accomplishments were undeserved. I thought I was unqualified for every job I ever had. I felt like my friends just hang out with me cause I’m around. I felt like a burden in most spaces.
And even saying all that still, right now accepting myself is actually the easy part. Accepting how this is going to affect others… That’s been really fucking hard. My partner has been WONDERFUL throughout the beginning of my journey. But its hard for her, and its hard for me to see that. To see her deal with the grief of learning that the man she knew was fading from reality. I didn’t want to take that person away from her but I didn’t have a choice. By accepting my truth about myself that person vanished. As were all the expectations of what that person would be, and do. All those milestones she expected with that person, gone.
I was gone, and I was right there.
I cannot deny that things will change in ways I still cannot fathom. I was terrified with how she would react once all this information was digested. Would she still want to be on this ride with me? Even if I am the same in my mind?
Time rolls on and things only get better. Harsh realities of our future still weigh on us. But she is absolutely wonderful and supportive.
Now I am left with how my friends will take the news. Honestly I expect it will probably be fine.
My family however… I fully expect none of them to understand. And I guess that bugs me. I only see them like twice a year. Less now due to Covid. And I just can’t see them being on board. Maybe my mom's side… some of them? I’m sort of bracing for never seeing my Dad’s side again. Not a huge loss to me… But things being weird with my dad would suck. He means well but he’s never really understood me and this might be a bridge too far. I want to have higher hopes for my Mom’s side, at least the ones close by. They’re fairly opinionated, but liberal. I fear that they might harbour transphobic thoughts that they don’t speak of. (NOTE FROM THE FUTURE - My mom is awesome and I got nothing but support from that side, still feeling things out with my dad)
As for work, I think it would be the same as my friend group. People like me. There is a larger LGBT presence in my industry. (FUTURE NOTE - Things are going real good with work too)
Accepting the struggles of the future is really hard. Like figuring out how to get a doctor to prescribe me HRT. Or the fact that HRT itself is going to necessitate a need for freezing my sperm if I ever want to have children with my partner. Not to mention the cost that goes with that. All the steps. All the hurdles. And the whole time having to get the gatekeepers of these services to believe me.
Like I would go through all this on a whim. I barely play my video games on default difficulty, why would I choose “Ultra Nightmare” for life if I felt like I had a choice. I don’t even like going to the doctor or talking about hard shit. I feel like that's all I’ve been doing lately. And in the background I’m doing this as the world becomes seemingly more focused on cutting down trans people socially and literally.
And after writing all this I realise I don’t think I’m very concerned about whether or not I accept myself. I know I already do and that feels great. I’m only concerned about how me being trans is going to affect others. Which is not so great. Maybe my not coming to terms with my transness until now was due to a defense mechanism. Maybe me being separated from everything except for my partner allowed me to feel safe enough to even begin to entertain these feelings that I’ve had for so long. And this healing is why I am where I am, scared and depressed as ever but also hopeful.
I’ve always had a hard time seeing myself in the future. But it’s never been easier. I have to be on to something.