Hello to everyone out there in this massive, amazing, crazy, and concerningly overcomplicated world.
I am a transgender woman. That’s fun to say. I’m a trans woman! I am a woman. This is new to me. Rather, being willing to say that I am, is.
I’ve known something about myself was feminine since I was eleven or twelve, I think. Something about me was hidden, existing in the shadows of my personality, while the rest of me was sort of muddled throughout my life. I was disconnected. Life happened to other people while this guy I was supposed to be just worked, ate, and existed.
I’m breaking down that barrier of shadows and self doubt and putting the pieces of myself back together, and the real me is so happy to meet you. I live in Minnesota, which has a state supported insurance option for those like me who are living on a low-income job. This insurance covers transgender mental health therapy and hormones, but I put it off for so long.
If you are thinking about these resources, please look in your area. I was amazed at how supportive these systems have been. I reached out, got approved for insurance, contacted LGBTQ-friendly counselors in my area, started regular appointments with a transgender specialist, found an amazing counseler who is helping me with depression, and started taking hormones three months ago.
It’s all so new to me. Every day I wake up ready to take a new step into a life I want to live. I am lucky. I have a very loving family, I’ve never been suicidal, and my life as a man has been pretty good. I know many others who don’t have as much. Any of you who are struggling with an unsafe home or the desire to self harm, please reach out. There are fantastic resources and amazing people who do care about you out there.
I was inspired to make real changes in my life by a trans man who started working at the same retail store as me. He left a state with backwards laws and a family that rejected him, and he inspires me. He’s not the only one though. There are transgender people living their best lives and showing me the path forward every day:
- Riley Black, a paleontologist and an author of some very cool books. She also does science consulting for movies.
- Isabella Bennett, who performs in the band Steam Powered Giraffe. She expressed her transition and creativity in her band’s music and in a series of internet comics she illustrates.
- Laura Jane Grace, a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and founder of Against Me!
- Sam Collins, a comedian and performer on Youtube.
- Laverne Cox, an actress and LGBTQ+ advocate.
These people are out there showing the world that transgender people are talented, creative, and real people, and you might be surprised how many transgender people are near you. The retail store I work at in a small city in Minnesota employs at least three.
I spent a lot of time telling myself I didn’t know how to be trans. Now I’m learning from my friends, and my heroes. The world is surprisingly small sometimes, and it challenges us all with something new every day.
Thank you all for reading,
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