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a state of rest

Self-acceptance deprives you of the need for armaments.

Living comfortably with the knowledge that I was trans was something that I thought was impossible but I have discovered that it very much is. There is no further need to posture for fear of discovery and as a result your body and mind come to a natural state of rest.

I grew up anxious because I was transgender.

It is not natural to fight yourself constantly and it exhausts your body and your mind. Sometimes people would see me and ask what was wrong but I couldn’t tell them for I was afraid to even tell myself.

Those of you who are where I am now can understand me. It doesn’t matter whether you have transitioned or not; it just feels so much better to have a closer understanding of who you really are.

Now I am beginning to see how others feel who knew who they were all along and never doubted it.


  1. I am happy for you that you have gone from anxiety to self-acceptance and a state of rest. But is this a repeatable journey or is it a one off? Can anyone make this journey or are the life-experiences and thought-patterns that taken you to a better place uniquely yours? If they are repeatable, what is the roadmap? Or to put it another, what is the secret of your success?

    1. Katie I think for one thing you need to scrub everything you've been taught and start defining yourself on your own terms. You are not a failed man; you have gender dysphoria and you were born that way. Now proceed to find a way to grapple with it with a realistic goal in mind. There is not point in feeling sorry for ourselves because our situation won't change. The only thing left to decide is really do I transition or not and if you don't find a way to deal with your dysphoria in a positive way.

    2. Katie, I'll add my 2c to Joanna's excellent reply.

      Joanna's acceptance of herself is not a one off by any means. I'm getting there too. For me a big part was understanding transgender, its etiology (biological), and that it's simply part of me. Nothing I can do about that other than to be aware of it and deal with my gender dysphoria as best I can. Like having vitiligo and having to wear sun blocking clothes and stay in the shade.

      Indeed, determining whether one needs to transition or not is also a big question. But it's not all or nothing. Maybe you will not or later wish you could but on balance decide it's not in the cards for you. It doesn't have to be, you just have to have that awareness and then work on strategies to mitigate your dysphoria.

      It is a bit of a burden to be trans. But it's also a beautiful thing to have a self awareness and delight that I think cisgender people are oblivious to. We are special in that way, and I like it that I am myself the way that I am.

  2. I'd like to add that I completely agree with Joanna that self acceptance does provide such a relief of anxiety.

    Without our awareness of being trans and accepting it, it's as if we are living a huge lie, trying to maintain a secret to prevent others from becoming aware of our true nature. We all know that lies build up on each other like a house of cards that requires constant vigilance and maintenance. All that leads to anxiety and stress.

    So, tearing that lie apart and accepting ourselves for who we are removes the need for that house of cards. Then, we are just ourselves, like anyone else. We just happen to be transgender.

  3. Translating advice into action isn't easy. All one needs to do is look in a mirror and realize that what I see is at odds with what I feel. One can mask the exterior so that to a degree it mimics what one feels, but it is almost impossible for a realist to buy into the notion that the mask isn't anything more than that, a mask. Masks are all well good for halloween and costume parties, but they have very little to do with day to day living.

    I hope you won't view my response as lacking in respect or just being difficult. I don't feel particularly anxious, but I am decidedly conflicted. Acceptance seems a distant shore.

    1. not at all Katie. I am 54 years old and it has taken me this long to get where I am. It wasn't all that long ago that I was completely despondent about all this but then I realized that I had to come to a place of understanding or bust.

      There is no question we live with masks and to a great extent I continue to in order to earn a living and support my children because I made a choice a long time ago. But I don't feel bad about that because I live in a real and imperfect world. I don't pretend that my answer is perfect only that it is far better than my previous alternative which was slowly killing me.

    2. For me, Katie, I also don't want to feel that I'm donning masks and costumes to be me. Thus far, I only dress in women's clothing at home, in private, where I can just be me with no sense that I'm wearing any costume; they're just my clothes.

      I leave the door open to going out in public, though. I may at some point take that step.

      I certainly didn't take any offense to your any of your writing.


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