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Regardless of how we identify, now or early on, the vast majority of us were raised with the expectation that we were male (inside and outside). Even if you “knew” that were not a boy, society likely ignored that. So, what we were taught and the behaviors expected all matched our external selves. One of the most hurtful things is the notion that “big boys don’t cry”. In other words, we were told to ignore (suppress, in effect) the natural feelings that we all have as humans.
We are taught to “man up” and only allow our feelings to show under certain circumstances, such as grief or maybe when your daughter gets married. However, the reality is that we have feelings ALL of the time, but we are not behaving correctly if we let that show.
What I know is that there are some things that have a profound effect on me and it used to be difficult to restrain my emotions. One such event comes from the movie “Red Tails”, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen during WWII. Before a mission, the pilots gather just before they are to take off and repeat a chant:
everything’s a challenge,
to the stars,
from the last plane,
to the last bullet,
to the last minute,
to the last man,
I believe there is a video on YouTube to get a sense of what it sounds like, but the point is that there is something about it that just grabs me every time I hear it or read it.
For disclosure, I identify as transgender, non-binary. I am not on hormones and have no plans to transition physically. However, my social transition is essentially complete. But, what I’ve learned is that feeling my emotions and allowing them to be seen is OK. I’ve given myself permission to do that if something touches me deeply. To me, it would seem that if we are to embrace the femininity that we claim, we need to allow ourselves to feel whatever emotions come up.
So, the question is:
How are we dealing with whatever emotions come up? Are we feeling them or are we still trying to suppress them? What’s happening for us?
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