As I have become increasingly comfortable as Joanna and as I age, the inhibitions crumble and suddenly you find yourself deep in conversation with people who happen to be sitting next to you at a café, standing at a grocery lineup or with a merchant who happens to recommend some product to you.
Since I have been here I have made a series of acquaintances who, when I have told them I am going back to Montreal, have expressed interest in keeping in touch with me. For example, there is Anna who works at a jewelry counter at the Oakville mall chats with me whenever I pass her stall and she has told me she appreciates my easy-going style and that I am so nice. Then there’s Becca, Mae, Maria and Alex (that transgender young woman who doesn’t know about me) who I banter with every time I see them at the Starbucks.
My point is that there is no better way to test your mettle and build your confidence as a transgender person in the world than to talk to people you don’t know. If nothing else, it can only enrich your experience and make you a little wiser and more empathetic towards others.
I grew up very shy and having a deep dark secret didn't make things any easier but now I am making up for lost time and living the way I was meant to all along.