Why thank you!
When I was approaching transition in 2001–2 there weren’t that many firsthand accounts out there as the prevailing wisdom at the time was to “woodwork” or “go stealth” after everything was done (to put it into context: until 1999 here in the UK you could be fired just for being trans).
As a result the few people I could find out there who were talking openly (e.g. Lynn Conway and Becky Allison) about trans issues was very limited, so I felt a great debt of gratitude to those who dared to take the risk of sticking their heads over the parapet.
Since then I’ve always tried to give something back in the same way. The only voice I have is a direct reflection of who I am, and I’m glad it comes over the way you describe as that’s just me. :)
Even without having to deal with the reactions of others transition is a huge challenge and a complex, highly personal experience that it can take a while to figure out and work your way through. Although I haven’t had any treatment other than electrolysis and HRT since 2004 I think it was only comparatively recently when I really nailed the last significant remnants of my own dysphoria and stopped seeing echoes of “him” in the mirror.
But now I’m there, it’s just brilliant! Although I have bad, teary days (I was like that yesterday, in fact) they aren’t connected to being trans, but just to normal everyday life stuff. That in itself is something worth smiling over, I think. :)
When I look back at what I went through during those years I still have difficulty believing it all happened….and yet, I can still read it all and connect with the me that was living through it all. Words are so powerful!
Ultimately the only person we should ever aspire to truly be is ourselves. The challenge for each of us is to understand and come to terms with who that is and what that means. That’s not easy, but I think we all owe it to ourselves to try, and to do so honestly and with a spirit that is open to making changes if and when we realise we need to.
I just wish it wasn’t so difficult (and others didn’t make it harder than it is already!).
Good luck x