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I haven’t introduced myself here yet, and now I’m ready.
I’ve been a member of CDH for three years, and I joined TGH a few months ago because I felt I needed more. More what?
Maybe I needed less. There were certain parts of the early journey through gender exploration that are no longer so big and dramatic. The fears and anxiety have softened and shrunk in stature. The emotional rush from firsts and exposure is milder. I take my gender identity as a given, and focus more on the possible safety impact of how I dress as opposed to trying to make it an event.
The reason I came to TGH is that I am gradually transitioning. They say that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. For me, it’s more like a leisurely stroll with frequent pauses to enjoy the scenery.
Most of the people I’ve seen/heard going through their transition are so sure and confident about their identity. Once they experience the epiphany, there is no looking back.
That is not me. I hesitate and stumble because I don’t feel like I live at the end of the spectrum. I’m mostly at one end, but I don’t pretend to myself that I have erased my “dead-life” or my “dead-name.” It took a while to come to accept this fact, and to get to a place where I can be OK with being nonbinary, genderfluid, feminine leaning.
I’ve had several gender reveal parties, so a lot of my friends, and colleagues know that I am nonbinary. I’ve begun to leave my femme clothes on when I sign in to Zoom conference calls with business groups, as opposed to changing into a sport coat and button down.
This week, Elliott Page (formerly Ellen) had a public gender reveal party. He declared his gender as “nonbinary/ transmasculine.” His pronouns are he/they. When I read this, I smiled and said, “That’s me!” No, not masculine. But that I’m nonbinary/transfeminine and my pronouns are they/her. That feels so right!
And in the “rightness” of that identity, I realized that I’ve moved into transition, maybe further than I thought. When I dress and go out, I worry less about adverse reactions. Instead, I’m curious. Mildly. I don’t stare, my eyes are not darting in fear. I wonder if that person’s smile is in celebration of my identity, or in celebration of the freedom that I am expressing, which they get to realize is their freedom, as well. And if it’s a smile of derision, “what you think of me is none of my business.”
There is still a certain anxiety that maybe this won’t stick. That I’m making a mistake. Maybe I’ll wish I hadn’t taken certain steps. I guess that’s why I am using a derivative of my given name instead of changing it on my documents. I guess that’s why I have no intention of undergoing surgery, and microdosing is just fine with me. I don’t need to have dramatic results. I kinda like having both genders for now.
There is frequent confirmation of this gender identity in the form of gender euphoria. It’s not constant. Though I could dress every day, there are days that it’s not a priority. And there are days that putting on a maxi skirt puts a silly smile on my face. There are days that I look in the mirror and see the girl inside glowing. I see my face softening, the earrings glistening, the eyes alight with joy.
I guess it’s time to own it. Here I am folx!
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