By Emily Ann Smith
Who I am in my personal life and who I am in public are different, because I’m still too scared to present as a woman. Yet I’ve given up so much to transition: so many friends, so many opportunities, someone I loved.
I’m doubting my self identity; How do you keep telling yourself you’re one way, when everyone keeps telling you that you’re the other.
How can I be comfortable at times presenting as male – shouldn’t it hurt me so much that I can’t bear it?
What brought this confidence crisis on?
I’m doing a program for the third time. I will lead again a group of freshman, helping them assimilate into college life. All the returning leaders know me well, many of them know I’m trans. Still, I am still presenting and acting as my old self – and I had fun.
But I actually feel guilty that being trans hasn’t ruined other fun things in my life. I feel shitty because there can be times when I’m happy as Dan. I feel messed up because people like my dad keep trying to make me think I’m not transgender.
Living two lives is so difficult, I’m just sick of being in between. I’m more isolated than ever. I want for transition to be over so I can just live my life as Emily.
How do I find the courage to be myself.
I’m having a hard time organizing my thoughts. Things keep entering my conscious, but before I can grasp hold of them, they’re gone.
On Friday I be speaking publicly about being transgender on a panel at my university. The audience will be people from all over the student population.
I’m kind of scared.
I’m not sure what will happen to the aspects of my life where I’m afraid to be out. My other job at the student newspaper or the program I mentioned earlier. I feel like a fraud when I tell people my name is Emily when I look and sound like a guy.
I just want to be real.