People, regardless of their gender, sexuality, or any other trait, are always in transition. From daughter to mother, brother to uncle, we all undergo changes in our lives. However, trans people experience transition in a very unique and often challenging way. The idea of “passing” (that is, being acknowledged as one’s preferred gender) is spoken of in hushed and hallowed tones in the trans community. (Just kidding. Kind of.)
Those of you who have met me have probably noticed that I haven’t taken too many strides towards passing as a man. As with people, as with anything, I believe gender dysphoria exists on a spectrum. I am blessed that I can function in this world as a woman, even though internally, I am a man. I have great, unending admiration for those who are openly trans. I hope to be as strong as they are one day.
Recently, I had a conversation with my therapist about all of this. I will be the first to admit that I am a coward–one of the main reasons why I have chosen not to be more proactive in reshaping my appearance to one that aligns more closely to my mental image of myself is fear. I fear that I won’t pass, and I fear the confrontation that goes along with that. I mean, come on, we all saw Boys Don’t Cry. Violence towards trans people isn’t going away. In fact, this very bright spotlight that has been turned on our community makes me more nervous than ever to transition.
I’m 29 years old. I can only imagine what it feels like for a teenager or young adult.
And yet, I think I would be happier were I to dress to my comfort level. I think right now the trans community needs all the voices willing to speak out (from allies too!)
So, I invite you to share in my journey. I don’t know where it will lead me, but I know my destination will be better for having you take part in it.