Where I am right now: Patience, fear, and determination.

I wrote this between 1:30 and 2:30AM (ish) on Thursday Morning, sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I went for a nice ride around Northwest DC to sort out my head; its amazing the sense of freedom that comes with a good ride. Despite the occasional passerby, my time on the memorial was pensive and surreal.

I’m not really sure what to make of my life right now; I am cautiously optimistic that it will continue to get better. Just to let you know, I have only been on HRT for about 3.5 months and out  to my close friends for even less time. This means I still interact with the world as a man, and its driving me crazy. I figure i’m a good 4 or 5 months away from practical androgyny. What makes things worse though, is the fact that when I try and act, feel, or think like a woman, I feel fake. It comes naturally and is very emotionally settling, but I still feel like I’m playing some messed up game of pretend at times. I’m afraid I will never have a feeling of authenticity with myself, which is rather unnerving. Presenting as a male is also just obnoxious. Every time I am ‘gendered’ as male I wince internally, and usually visibly too.

I’m basically just griping about typical trans stuff now, but its been a weird time for me. My girlfriend (of about a year) and I  have recently broken up. While we are still extremely close, I miss what I had with her. Of course, the fact that being trans was the reason for our breakup doesn’t make things any easier. I take some solace in the reality that I can be more open with her about certain components of my life, but still, what hurts, hurts.

I am  however thankful for how much my transition has revealed about myself so far. For instance, I suck at waiting. Patience has always been a weakness of mine. it’s second only to my inability to let things go. This combination of traits is definitely a source of anxiety in my transition. Some days, I feel like my problems would go away if I just declared to the world that I was trans and told everyone to shove off. (especially when I’ve had something to drink) But I am always a hostage to my own fear.

Its important when we talk about fear to rationalize it; why are we afraid? What exactly am I afraid of? The mysterious nightmares that creep on the edges of our lives will always terrorize us more than any specific failure; the thought of rejection or failure horrifies me, but losing a bigoted friend or disappointing my dad scares me less so. I believe my fear of coming out is rooted in the value I place on personal relationships. I am always adverse to hurting or disappointing people I care about. Some of this is a holdover from when I thought these feelings were a stage I would overcome; If I told anyone about them, then I would ruin my future.

Things are different now. I’m going to come out to more of my friends months earlier than I every thought I would. It will strengthen some relationships and destroy others, but at the end of it all, I will now who is worth their salt. I have an amazing bond with the friends I have come out to, and I will have to let everyone know eventually. I’m tired of excuses and this entire charade.

Its decided: I’m coming out to you, whether you like it or not.

~Emily

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