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Strong Sense of Self

Excerpt from Transfigurations by Jana Marcus.

You must have a very strong sense of self to transition. (Tiffany, 42)

If I were able to transition when I was in my teens, like youth can today, I would have been socialized as other young girls are. But would I have been forced to buy into stereotypical behavior, attributes, and social norms that most young women are raised with? Would I be a cookie-cutter conformist with a very narrow idea of what a girl is and what kind of woman she should be? Would I have been raised to be a good girl, find a white knight, and raise a family?

It would have been beneficial to my physical appearance to be on estrogen before so many male features became permanent. It’s much harder to transition later in life, and I have had to rid myself of male baggage and socialization. But when that process was done I had a semi-blank slate to create my own idea of what a woman can be, instead of what society thinks she should be. By constructing the woman I am today, I was able to become my own creation, with healthier ideas and qualities I wanted to embody, such as intelligence, humor, individuality, strength, grace and class, as well as my own sense of style and unique place in the world.

I’m proud to be trans; it’s who I am. The outcome of my struggles is what makes me special, not whether I’ve had surgery to create a vagina. Millions of women have a vagina and it doesn’t make them special. What makes a person special is who they are inside, what they do with their lives, and how they make a difference in the world. That’s the kind of woman I am – always aiming to make a difference.

A Woman +

Excerpt from Transfigurations by Jana Marcus.

I am more than just a woman.
By Danielle (30)
See accompanying photo.

I used to be very scared of being transgendered. I didn’t want to fit into that community, and I lived my life as a woman. Only those very close to me knew otherwise. When Gwen Araujo was murdered I realized that I could no longer pretend to be what I was not. Gwen’s death could have been mine. I was in her situation so many times – deceiving people that I was a natural woman. I was really just deceiving myself. This was difficult for me to come to terms with, but I realized that I’m not a biological woman and I never will be. There is more than just male and female – gender is fluid. I realized that the world was messed up, not me, so I decided to turn my anger into a passion for change. Now I’m dedicated to providing services which were not available when I was young.

There’s an emotional and spiritual evolutionary process that we all must go through to accept ourselves for who we really are. I am a transgendered woman and that’s how I identify. For many years I refused to accept having been male. Now I recognize that I am of two spirits, and I’m trying to get in touch with the man inside of me. This is part of embracing my transgenderism as a whole. I’m no longer trying to be something I’m not. I’m just trying to be who I am, and to love myself.

Danielle

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