what I wish I had discovered sooner

Much of this life journey we are on involves disregarding the opinions of others. We are brought up to please and to meet expectations but at a certain point in time you need to be who you are and let go of things that people project on to you. We need to realize that if becoming you disappoints them then it is their problem and not yours.

Many of us older transgender people got caught in the system of aligning ourselves with what we were taught and we learned early that our secret identity would not meet societal approval. Often this occurred through jarring and embarrassing episodes.

The other day I read a letter to an advice column from a conservative mother complaining that her daughter was in a relationship with someone who was transitioning. But instead of agreeing with the mother's concerns, the columnist pointed out that she should be happy that her daughter is in a strong relationship and is an adult capable of making her own life decisions. She suggested that the entire family should rally behind this young woman instead of chiding her for loving a person rather than a gender.

We have come a long way in society to be sure and my personal journey has shadowed right alongside. The changes have been so pronounced that I sometimes shake my head in amazement and I now move about the world as a woman without giving much thought to how traumatic that idea used to seem.

It’s about finding that personal mettle to define yourself on your own terms which is worth so much. My only regret is that I wish I had discovered this liberation much sooner.


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