Slow Progress adds Up


My journey as a trans girl began, of course, as soon as my cells were being formed and my brain developed with a female structure whereas my reproductive organs didn’t. From there, it was a journey with social difficulties and (probably as a result) a downward-spiraling lack of self-value, until a few years ago I was at a low point. Psychologically, I’ll just sum it up by agreeing with a savvy friend who works as a formal counselor and has a Master’s in the subject. She described me as having self-hatred. That wasn’t all of it; I was also not clear as to who or what I am, or where I fit into the grand scheme of things.

Was I a gay guy, maybe? I went to gay guy clubs and (carefully) let men have sex with me. Very quickly I figured out that this wasn’t an explanation. “Gay guy” was the exact opposite of who I am. That was at least minimally helpful to me. I knew what I could rule out. It was sort of like Edison having tried to make an electric light-bulb, and having failed. As a result, he knew of one way in which not to make an electric light-bulb, but he still didn’t know how to proceed exactly. The analogy applied to me, too.

Medically, I was severely overweight, with bad blood cholesterol and high blood pressure that were likely to kill me off soon — as in, very soon. I didn’t care. I was also going blind due to having cataracts. “Young person’s cataracts,” they called it, but either way it was getting very hard to see.

During that time-frame, I was also told I had skin cancer. The dermatologist came in with a grave face after the first attempt to cut out all the cancer had failed, and they had to cut out a much larger piece. Right after she announced that, I recall literally giggling as my first reaction, because I sincerely found it so charming and unfathomable that she would think that I actually cared about my body to any extent.

I was not surprised that I got skin cancer. As a teenager, I used to lay in the African sun for hours on end without sunscreen, so as to intentionally damage my skin, so as to get craggy old-sailor skin and maybe fit better with the male culture into which I was so desperately trying to fit while being so bewildered — since males my age seemed to be from another planet. I was told I was a boy and that I’d better fit in. I tried SO hard. At age 14, I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day to be macho. Nothing helped me fit into boy culture. I might as well have tried to fit in with rhinoceros culture.

I always felt that if I’m a boy, then wow, I’m a very different type of boy than the other boys — a boy who’s A LOT like a girl. That I actually AM a girl wasn’t a possibility I even considered at the time.

Finally, decades later, a few wonderful girls helped me realize that I’m simply a trans girl, and the fact that a vast amount of people deny the possibility, or hate girls like me — doesn’t mean I should think as they do. What IS — that’s what matters. Not opinions. If I’m a girl, I’m a girl even if the entire planet is annoyed at me. It’s sort of like what Galileo dealt with. The earth is a sphere that revolves around the sun, and whether or not that annoys the church, the truth nevertheless stands. That includes my right to live openly as a girl.

I finally understood. I also applied integrity to the situation, and lived openly as who I am. I didn’t know if this would mean being all alone, homeless and penniless — but it seemed to be a distinct possibility. I proceeded even so. Even if I were to live only one more day, I’d live and die as who I am.

It was hard. I felt excruciatingly awkward, whether alone or socially. As to the latter, I felt awkward as to how I look, move, walk and talk — all of which are major elements of social interaction.

I’ve overcome these issues, but even now there are other negatives. For example, I have a lot of business debt and I’m way behind on that. I’m also not young any more. I’m also running multiple businesses with only one assistant — an amazingly brilliant one — but still, it’s hard to keep up with everything. Being a trans girl also does mean that there is much cultural negativity focused on me. But … psychologically, these negatives seem so tiny to me that they just really don’t register anywhere on the scale, for me.

It’s been an amazing journey. Had it been only a fraction as nice yet much harder, it would nevertheless still have been overwhelmingly worth it. Even now, five years later, I vividly remember the best people and the worst; the best experiences and the worst. As things panned out, my life is so nice that I feel intense gratitude to those who have been kind and supportive to me, and I sometimes feel tempted to just stop in awe and wonder.

…. which brings me to yesterday.  My day was a classically “me nowadays” day — waking up next to a wonderful and brilliant rainbow girl who’s part of my life and who brightened my day with her presence. Then, my day consisted of making professional-grade custom business software for a client, then working on custom business software for my auto parts business, then working on a 1980 Mercedes-Benz convertible, then coaxing it towards its destination during a 60-mile journey during which it was often on the brink of overheating, then having my hair done, then visiting my mom for dinner, and then working on my 1998 Audi A8 Quattro.  Then, more custom business software work, then watching the final 2 episodes of the L-Word series on Netflix, then an in-depth intense conversation with the lovely girl whose presence continued to brighten my day. Yes, she’s my girlfriend. Yes, we’re openly polyamorous. Yes, it works magnificently well.

In a wider sense, I’m accepted and loved by many magnificent individuals, my friends and family — my framily (to use a word I learned last night).

As to how this fits in to the no-longer-feeling-awkward part of life:

In the morning, I needed to renew my automobile insurance policy over the phone. Based solely on my voice, girls tend to realize that I’m a female, albeit one with an unusual voice, even on the best of days. Males have a much harder time — and the person on the other end of the phone was male. Even so, he correctly figured out I’m a girl, and it was “ma’am” this and “ma’am” that. So, as to how I sound — good enough.

All day, I felt confident about how I move as the girl I am. I felt graceful.

In the evening, my girlfriend and I went for a walk. I felt comfortable and graceful as such, too.

Late that night, we had a fun photo shoot, with the results below:

Remember that line from a classic movie, where someone says “we’ll always have Paris?” The context is that when you have a good day, nothing can erase it. It’s past. It happened, and if it was good, your life was positive to that extent, indelibly. Living a happy life, one day at a time, is like that. What good or bad things might happen today or tomorrow are a separate issue. They can’t undo the wonderful day that was yesterday.

Yes, this is being posted in my trans girl blog. My point is: if you’re a trans girl and your life is hard, I empathize. For me, it was hard too. Maybe not as hard, maybe more. But for me, it got better, vastly so. Maybe for you it can too, if you live with integrity and embrace who you are.

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