I have to first express how awesome it has been, this experience of coming out to people. So much love and kindness and support it’s…incredible. I don’t know. Words totally fail here. It’s so scary, ahead of time, knowing that you’re going to be seen differently for the rest of your life, knowing that you’re putting yourself in one of the most stigmatized and, frankly, hated groups of harmless people in the world.
(I had to say “harmless” because people hate, you know, the Taliban, and terrorists, and people who talk at the theatre, too.)
And the news? When it comes to trans people? Not exactly encouraging, I guess you could say.
So, yes, I was scared and weirded out and nervous and all sorts of things. Knowing you’ll face at least some otherwise inexplicable rejection (check!), some weird-ass creepy vibes (check!), and such things, isn’t exactly how one would design their Best Life.
But overwhelmingly (and I really mean that; there were moments I got kind of overwhelmed emotionally by it all….there have been some tears…), what happened?
All sorts of people from my life reached out. Some of my closest allies and bffs, of course. But students from the past reached out; friends from long ago with whom I had lost touch for 25+ years came out of the woodwork by total surprise; so many people sent messages and responded on Facebook and such. It’s been amazing.
Even though it’s just a tiny tiny thing in the grand scale of the world, I feel like this is a testament to how lovely most people are (when they are not coming from a place of fear/lack-of-knowledge).
Maybe the notion that humanity can “level up” this century and globally self-govern without the need for oppressive hierarchies of power…isn’t such a pipe dream, eh?
So, thank you. The responses and love from so many people has been life-changing; I don’t know how else to put it. With all my heart, thank you.
“So, how DID you know you were trans?”
Of course, this is pretty personal, and for each person to decide on their own level of what they feel comfortable disclosing. But I really don’t mind the question; heck, I did post it on my blog! …lol….
In any case, in 3 days, 550+ of you came and read my coming out story. So if you are interested in “the process”, then I’m happy to share with you what I can about the experience.
Maybe it’ll even help somebody; who knows right?
I trust that you receive this in the same spirit of openness that I’m sending it in. Because this IS pretty personal. I feel a bit like I’m opening up my diary here….
In any case, it’s impossible, in casual conversation when people ask this question, to rattle off a quick answer. The whole thing is pretty mysterious and subtle and often difficult to put into words at all, let alone sum up quickly.
Besides, it might seem like a bit of a mystery how a person could live for years, decades even, and then “realize” that, actually, they are not a man after all; they are a woman. (Or vice-versa, or non-binary, etc.)
Like, how is that even possible?
But in truth, we have a whole century plus of Psychology, and millennia of literature and stories of human experience, to draw upon for understanding this seeming mystery. It’s not a mystery at all. The fact that humans live in a co-constructed subjectivity, which is influenced by the sociocultural environment so powerfully that people can easily deceive themselves of their own experiences, is well understood. And the mechanisms of repression and motivated reasoning and memory reconstruction and identity formation, and the internalization of social norms, and trauma and dissociation, etc., are so well known there are textbooks about them!
* * * * *
What IS downright fascinating about this though, is HOW a person who has lived for all those years with a certain understanding, then comes to realize a whole different understanding (which they feel is the truth), about themselves!
It’s like, instead of asking how someone ended up in jail, ask them how they escaped! What was their “Get Out of Jail Free” card?
There is a deep lesson in here that goes far beyond being trans gender or cis gender or whatever else. It gets down to the foundation of what it means to feel like we are “somebody” at all.
So here’s my story….(to be continued in Part 2). It’s mainly about music, and walking, and spaceships. And I think it might just blow your mind. It did mine!