Hello my darling readers. I hope the summer has treated you well and that you are getting to live the life that you want. I know I haven’t written much and it seems as though more than two months has to pass by before I find myself wanting to write on here again. I’ve thought a great deal about that, in fact, and although I feel guilty that I have abandoned my faithful readers, I also feel okay having stepped away from this endeavor. As I inch closer and closer to becoming a therapist (I’ve already started doing group therapy with transgender/queer teenagers for my practicum) I’ve started to wonder where, if at all, this blog has a place in my life. The unfortunate part of my chosen profession is that I must be more mindful of what I put on the internet. Obviously I’ve written a few years worth of my inner thoughts, emotions, and experiences and I have no plans to take them down but those entries document a journey; a journey I have all but finished, it seems. My steps forward are a different journey, with different objectives, and different expectations.
It has been over two years since I began living as a fulltime transgender woman or, more accurately, a transfeminine non-binary queer person, and in that time I have learned a great many lessons, but that journey from Robert the repressed and broken “man” to Emmz Extraordinaire has reached its conclusion. I’m no longer transitioning to Emma, I simply am Emma. There really aren’t any parts of me that I wish to change except perhaps laser hair removal which I’ve yet to be able to afford, and possibly SRS, which I absolutely can’t afford.
I guess what I’m getting at is that there isn’t anything left about transition to write about, at least not that I am experiencing now, so I will simply write about my life with the hope that it is somewhat interesting to you.
I’ve been Emma (officially) for two years and a little over a month. I have gone from insisting on having on full makeup and nail-polish 24/7 to basically only wearing foundation and painting my nails once a month (if that). I have gone from wearing high-femme clothing and having to put socks in my bra to wearing an odd assortment of gender-neutral clothes and not needing socks to fill my bra. I’ve seen my face change right before my eyes, with each day looking slightly more feminine than the one before. The point is: so much has changed over the last few years. How I wish I could go back in time, sometimes, to not only reassure my former self that things were going to be okay but to also tell myself not to worry so much about it. True, gender dysphoria is a bitch, but I didn’t need to worry as much as I did about not being accepted as a woman (or, not a man). Despite my fears people accept me as a woman and most of the people in my life have only ever known me as Emma, so that is who I am to them and who I have always been. They see pictures of me before the transition and they can’t or won’t believe that I’m the same person. In some ways I am still that person, but in most ways we are utterly different people.
I wish I could tell my former self that one day, not too far away, all of the struggle of transition would feel a million miles away. Like a rocket taking off from the ground, the first few hundred miles are the most difficult and jarring, but after that, when there is no more resistance to hold you back, you soar at incredible speed. Looking back to that day I went into work for the very first time as Emma is like looking back at the tiny earth as I’m about to land on the moon. It’s so far away, even though it really wasn’t that long ago that I was right there, strapped into my chair feeling the rocket engines roar to life, and what a hell of a ride it was too.
My whole world fell apart, just the way it was supposed to. The things that no longer served me or were no longer right for my life fell away, just as a shuttle sheds its spent rockets upon entering space. Even my wife leaving was a shedding of no longer useful parts of my life. Our marriage was over and to keep holding onto it would have only hindered both of us, really.
But like a trip into space, sometimes there is nothing but cold emptiness to keep you company, and I have experienced a great deal of that. While the starting point seems so long ago, the cold emptiness is still a part of my journey, and I suspect many people who transition genders know exactly what I mean when I say that transition is a solitary expedition. No matter the friends, family, or even partners you have in your life, in the end it is only you who must walk through the process; no one can walk it for you. Sure, they may take journeys with you but each of them must walk their own path along the way, none can walk yours with you. They will have their feelings, fears, worries, and joys just as you will, and you might even share in a few of those along the way, but like the transitioning person they must face their demons alone. They must find acceptance of you and of what you now mean to them, just as you must accept what being your true self means to you and those around you.
It isn’t an easy process, either. Even if you have everything handed to you on a silver platter and you get all the best circumstances possible, it’s still a difficult path to walk. The things we have to do in order to feel as though we belong, not to the world, but to ourselves is simply astounding. Most people will never fully understand what that is like, to have the fundamental essence of your being be contrary to the physical temple it is trapped inside of. To know that you are a girl but to have everything, every single thing in the world around you tell you that you are wrong, that you don’t know what you are talking about or that you are just confused, sick, perverted, or any other thing they try to marginalize you with. It isn’t an easy road, no matter what shoes you wear at the beginning, and while it does eventually get easier and the path smooths out for many, too many of us die along the way. Too many of us are killed and far too many of us give in to the temptations of those demons that tell us we are better off dead than alive.
No, my darling readers, this isn’t and hasn’t ever been an easy road to walk. So many times I have wanted to stop going. So many times I have listened too long to those demons who whisper to me that I should just kill myself. So many times I have sat in regret, wondering if I should have done this at all. So many times I have wondered if I shouldn’t just go back to living as Robert. My heart has wavered again and again along this road to becoming.
But this road has been worth it. The unfettered joy of feeling the breeze of self-realization blow across your cheeks as you stand atop the hill of transition is irreplaceable. The fulfillment that comes from looking back over the treacherous road you’ve walked, knowing that despite everything, despite all the misgendering, the transphobic comments, the bigotry, the invasive questions about your genitals, and the disowning of family and friends that you survived, is undeniable. And more than undeniable it is unimpeachable. No one can take it away from you. No one can say that you didn’t do it because you’ve got the scars to prove them wrong. And fuck them anyways, you are born anew as a glorious being of brilliance and beauty and their opinion can never take that away from you.
So to all of you out there struggling through transition, walking that treacherous path alone, please hear me when I say that it gets easier. It may not seem like it and sometimes it may seem like this transition will be the death of you but I promise you that it doesn’t have to be. You can keep going, you can keep your head up, and you can succeed. The only thing required is that you don’t give up, but more than that the best thing you can do is remain true to yourself in the process. Take care of those you love as best as you can but if they are meant to be in your life they will be when you finish this journey, and if they aren’t then they won’t be. It might hurt, hell, it might be downright agonizing to lose them, but you will be better off without them. They either come with you or they don’t. They will either see your beauty as I see your beauty, or they will miss out on something amazing.
Be strong. Be beautiful. Be powerful. Be brilliant, and last of all, be extraordinary because in the end you are the only thing you’ve really got; so make you the best you it can be.
Oh!! I nearly forgot. I have signed an agreement with a publishing company that publishes textbooks. They will be featuring one of my blog entries about transgender bathroom laws in their upcoming books. The books will be in about 2000 libraries around the country. =D
(Here are a couple recent pictures from about a month ago. First is just a random selfie, the second is me eating sushi with my roommate)