All of this resonates with me so much. But particularly this:
“A question as simple as “what’s your name?” shouldn’t stir up a storm inside every time it’s asked. Something as basic as peeing in public shouldn’t be extreme anxiety-inducing. Gender is not something you should feel, grating at your insides, every waking moment. Gender should be like the air you breathe: essential, yet unnoticed the majority of the time.”
I have a long way to go still in feeling like my authentic self but the more steps I take, the less mental energy my gender has to take up in my daily thoughts. Every waking moment isn’t filled with questions and anxieties even though there are still a lot of them left.
One of the most commonly repeated phrases / acknowledgments / pieces of advice / soundbites of justification that we hear as transgender people is “Be Yourself.” As I’ve transitioned, I’ve uttered these words in a meager attempt at explaining the hugely positive impact this gender journey has had on my life:
– I am my authentic self
– I feel more comfortable
– I can finally just be myself
But how do you know who “Yourself” is when that is exactly what you’re searching for?
What is authentic?
For many, “being ourselves” is something we’ve never truly experienced, least not before transition. We often report feeling as if we’ve been wearing masks our entire lives, pretending to be someone we are not.
It is clear who we are not, but do we know what lies beneath the mask? Who would we be if we were to stop pretending?
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