One of the things that kept me afraid of even admitting my truth to myself, was the fear of the reaction of others when I claimed my rightful space as female. I knew there were would be people who could not, would not, understand how I could even dare say I was female when that invalidated their simple learned ‘truth’ itself; that being born with a penis made you a boy and then a man, and being born with a vagina made you a girl and then a woman. Who knows what they made of intersexed people, born with both genitalia? Because those people are rare, perhaps they are just as easily forgotten, dumped in some sort of “freak” folder, best not to even consider as that would challenge their simple and sure notions of gender.
Growing up, it was obvious this was the case, and any transgender person was slipped into the “freak” folder. If they were smart they stayed there, invisible, forgotten. If they dared claim some kind of life for themselves, by coming out or transitioning, then they had crossed the line and were fair game for ridicule, hatred, and dismissal. No wonder then, that I was a good girl and stayed invisible. I attracted enough bullying and humiliation as it was. I didn’t need to ask for more.
But one cannot live in hiding forever. It takes its toll and it did with me. When I finally found the courage, perhaps the desperation, to step into my true path the world unfolded for me. Truly, it was like leaving a dank, dark bunker and stepping into the sunlight. I have never regretted leaving that place of false safety. And when I arrived into the light, I braced myself for the sticks and stones. Instead I found love. I found acceptance. I found compassion and caring, and I realized THIS is where I am safe, protected by the love of others, and a love that I can now feel from the All, from my Goddess. Where I hid before, no one could even see me, and thus I gave them no chance to love me. I had surrounded myself with pain and fear and I dared not even touch a deeper, divine love. When you are in pain, love seems to sting more than it should, because a part of you knows what you are denying yourself, what you hold at bay.
In the light of my transformed life, I have been generous with sharing my journey, because I know that there are still too many people who do not understand, who have never seen what has been hidden away in that folder of shame and fear. While we are still very much a rare breed, transgender people are more common than many people would care to admit, and more of us are now stepping into the light and asking to be seen properly and respected. If what I share helps others in their own path and helps foster understanding and compassion, then I am glad I take the chances I do in revealing myself so openly.
It hasn’t been difficult for me to continue doing that because where I expected resistance I have instead found acceptance and love. I am encouraged by others to not only be myself but to speak my truth. I have been very blessed this way because many, far too many, of my brothers and sisters have encountered hurt, fear and hatred as they stepped into their own truth. In all my time of being truly me, not one person has challenged me, or denied me…until the other night.
It was on a small online group, one that had already exuded a toxicity and anger that my Little Voice kept telling me was too dangerous to remain with. But Big Ego hushed Little Voice and insisted on staying and then was devastated when someone, casually, cruelly and with forethought, denied and refuted my truth. She was coming from her own place of deep hurting, as often is the case when someone lashes out at you. She made the remarks with malice, but I’m not sure she had any idea of how deeply her words would wound me.
I was surprised myself by the impact of that casual cruelty. It connected directly to a lifetime of hurt and anger. When I was about 6 I stood in our driveway, looking up at the sky and wailing, with all my voice, scolding my Goddess for having made me a boy when I knew I was supposed to have been a girl and how unfair that was, how deeply hurt I was. I stood and screamed for all the world to hear and great heaving sobs wreaked my body, until at last I collapsed from exhaustion. Seeing those words the other night, that anger and hate and ignorance directed at me, that attempt to push me back into that bunker of fear and shame, connected me with that hurt little girl on the driveway and I screamed and sobbed like she did, until I, too, collapsed of exhaustion.
The next day my body hurt, like I had been struck by a bus, and I felt fragile in so many ways. When I thought about what had happened, about those words I had read, anger rolled through me in waves. Gradually, through the day, as I processed all of this with others and was reminded again of the love and acceptance that enfolds me, I felt stronger.
I try and find the positive out of events in my life that otherwise hurt and disrupt, because those are moments that are presented to help us grow. It’s not always easy, but there is always some side I can find that will make me stronger, wiser, more determined to live with love and peace in my heart. I can see now that this was a storm waiting to happen. That little girl who railed at her predicament when she was 6 felt so alone and unheard. She was overwhelmed by hurt and longing and she knew that the safety of the bunker was important. Perhaps she has never really stepped fully out. Perhaps she has been holding the door open, ready to leap back in when the sticks and stones flew. But now she knows. Now she knows that she is held by the love of others, her Goddess and most importantly, her self, and she will never ever be alone again.
What happened has made me more determined, and prepared, to speak my truth. I will continue to do so. Speak yours. No one has the right to shut us in those bunkers of shame and fear.