On Being Brave
Yesterday, on not one but at least two different Facebook book groups that I’m on, I was told how brave and courageous I was simply because I transitioned. I know that these people are well meaning and all, that they were likely being supportive and wanting to share their encouragement with me. But here’s the truth of the matter, and I do think this happens to people all the time and for many reasons, it took little to no courage, it wasn’t particularly brave of me to go through with transition. I had a choice and it was one of life and death and I’m not being dramatic, it really was that clear to me. Either I kept on the path I was already on and dying a little more each passing day, planning my exit from life as I knew it and all the depression and hatred of the body I was stuck in, or I could become proactive and do what I had only dreamt about over the years and begin the process of fixing what was not right about my body and identity.Of course I chose life and chose to give this all I had in order to survive this sad life I had prisoner in a body not really my own. And to be clear, I got lucky when I met the person who would become my lover, partner in everything and wife. At first I resisted her out of fear she would tire of me and dump me, I could not have handled this on top of what I was already going through, but she persisted and we did become a couple and with her support and love, I finally got to transition. Was I brave, was I courageous, that is debatable and not exactly how I would describe my decision to transition, for me it was very much a survival thing, it was my final push for a life my own and in a gender and identity better fitting to me. So though I appreciate such compliments it is not the truth, not fully in any case. I was filled with uncertainty, fear, panic, self-loathing and any number of negative notions one may feel in such circumstances, I din’t feel brave, I felt scared out of my bloody mind, I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. It was a no brainer for me to transition, it made sense, it was exactly what I had wanted for so long but was afraid of acknowledging it even to myself. I did what most living creatures do when trying to survive, I found a way, scratching and clawing to get out from under the weight I felt to be like everyone else, to fit in and be “ normal “. I could no longer pretend, could no longer hide who I am and it was the only avenue forward for me. So, was I brave and courageous, maybe, but it always seemed to me that I was operating on desperation and in survival mode.This is how I felt, what was going through my mind at the time. I can say that once I made the move and began my transition, I became more and more empowered, stronger and that lead to me coming into my own and living my best life.