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Posts Tagged ‘Pride’

Trans and Proud

Beginning in the fall of 2006, as I began to plan for my transition and think about what the future as Abby would be like, I always felt fear when I thought of those moments in public when people would realize that I am transgender or transsexual (I use both terms depending on the situation). I felt that same fear when I went out in public as Abby, watching carefully for disapproving glances and listening for rude remarks everywhere I went. As time passed and I didn’t see those glances or hear those remarks, I began to believe that I could live in this world as Abby without “being detected,” in other words, I thought I could “pass” without notice. As that belief grew, I became more and more confident in myself and more and more comfortable with my decision to transition. When I finally transitioned, my fear of being “clocked” as transgender was as great as ever, but, based on my experience, I believed that the risks of that actually happening were tiny, if not nonexistent. Without that belief and the concomitant belief that I could escape the shaming, harassment and even violence that is often the experience of my trans sisters and brothers, I doubt I would have transitioned.

A very curious thing has happened since then, however. Beginning only two or three months after my transition (on May 14, 2007), I began to realize that I am proud of who I am and of the many challenges and the tremendous pain that I overcame to learn the truth about myself and have the courage to live that truth as I do today. Today, I don’t bring up the fact that I am trans with most people. However, when it’s relevant or the moment can be used to teach about trans people, especially that we’re not freaks or perverts but people not so different than most, simply striving to live in peace and with a modicum of happiness, I am willing, and I do, tell people about my past. Yes, I still feel a tinge of fear each time I tell someone for the first time but I have never yet allowed that fear to stop me from revealing the truth of who I am, and I hope I never do. Considering the fear with which I began this journey, I am constantly amazed at the comfort that I feel with the knowledge that I am trans and my willingness to share that information with others whenever and wherever it might help to create greater understanding and acceptance of trans people.

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