I have to admit that this is probably the most difficult thing I’ve had to go through in my entire life. I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from deciding to come out as transgender because while it is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, it’s also one of the most rewarding (funny how that works with most things). I say this is difficult because it’s like I’m having an identity crisis. The identity that I used to hold up as “myself” has started to dissolve a bit over the last few days while a new and different identity has started to take its place. This new identity (that of being a woman) was inside of me all along, but was never given the time of day to show itself and now it is coming out more and more each day.
As I lay in bed last night, trying to find sleep I couldn’t help but watch a mini battle going on inside of my mind. There were two distinct parts of myself that were almost at war with one another. The first part was the fear. This was the part of me that was always too afraid to allow my whole self to be what we knew we were. This was the part of me that said it was better to just pretend the deeply feminine part of myself didn’t exist, that were I to allow it to flow out like it wanted to, I would be ridiculed and mocked. It convinced me for years on end that if I showed how much of a girl I was on the inside that I would regret it and that it was better to just try to be a boy than to risk the consequences of openly wanting to be a woman.
The second part was the repressed, yet blossoming female that’s been there all along. She was happy and joyful at finally being let out of her cage and wanted so much to soothe my fears about embracing and accepting her. She is the part of me that’s always felt right even when the world said it was wrong. She was the part that I felt most at home with inside of my mind and the part that was begging and pleading to be let out.
As I watched the two parts of myself quarrel I came to understand that over the years I had literally split myself into two people. One that I had to constantly prop up to the world in a never ending role-play, and one that I hid away and tried to ignore as if it wasn’t there. Finally and truly seeing what I’d done to myself, seeing the battle between two selves that I’d created made me realize that I could no longer continue with the divide and if I were to ever find peace, both halves would have to be merged together again.
You see, over the last 10 days or so, I’ve been trying to decide who I really am and what I really want. One half of me wants to stay the same (the fear half) and pretend this transgender realization didn’t happen. That half of me is extremely worried about all the time, work, and effort making a transition would entail, not to mention its almost crippling fear of being perceived as a freak of nature should we embark on that journey. That part of myself really doesn’t want to make any changes and is very worried and afraid. The other half of me wants to embark on our transformation immediately. It’s been repressed and suffocated for so long that it is desperate for some fresh air and for the chance to come out and see the world. This part of me knows that in the end, I will be so much happier as a person when I can finally be a female on the outside as well as the inside. This part of me wants to be happy and doesn’t care what anyone else will think about it and doesn’t care about any of the consequences of making the outward change.
As you can see, there is quite the rift between the two. So what to do? Well, I’ve decided that the only way to sooth the anxious and fearful part of myself while at the same time giving the new and excited part what it wants, is to move things along, but to do it slowly. To take small steps and to try on new ways of expressing myself. Instead of happily focusing on and fearfully worrying about all the parts that are way down the road (like HRT, voice changes, possibly SRS) I’m just going to do the things that make me happy (like painting my nails and acting like a girl) and not bite off more than I can chew. Instead of trying to plan everything out and trying to predict all the bends and curves of the road ahead, I’m just going to start walking in that direction, enjoying my time as I go. Perhaps this doesn’t sound like much of a revelation to anyone else, but it certainly feels like one to me.
I don’t have to worry about my deep voice right now because I can practice speaking in a higher pitched tone for a while to see what it is like (people actually have a much easier time hearing me when I do). I don’t have to worry about what kind of hairstyle I’m going to choose, I can simply allow my hair to grow naturally and find better ways of styling it as it gets longer. I don’t have to worry about how people are perceiving me as I start to make these changes, I only have to do the things that feel right and good to me. I can just be who I really am and slowly, progressively transform into the thing I want to be (wherever that ends up taking me). I can still be Robert the man while I allow Emma the woman to come out more often and not be ashamed of her.
Well, that’s all I have for now.