November 15, 2012

Trans* Awareness Week

This is my new reflection in the mirror each morning.

Today, I chose to capture it...and share it.

But then, I took it down from facebook almost immediately upon posting it. For all of my life, I have been hiding my chest---because I was a woman, and it's illegal to walk around topless in America.

I also was hiding because I hated my body. I hated it. And I didn't think there would ever come a day when I didn't hate it.

But that day happened. And many more have happened, since.

Since I decided to identity as transgender, my life has become unrecognizable--and thusly, so has my relationship to my body and its image. In many ways, my sense of reality has changed so much I often feel like I'm being filmed for another Matrix sequel, or being Punked by Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.

I walk around with my head held high, my shoulders even higher and I don't have one negative thought about my body. I work out more, I eat better and I love people more--from a place of inner peace and balance that I had never known before.

The time between using the word transgender and embodying it, as I define it for myself, was really hard. It was really scary to live in that in-between place of saying one thing but not really connecting with it. The body image didn't match the mental one. I wasn't sure it ever would. There was a lot of "faking it until I made it".

But now, I don't have to fake anything. In fact, there is very little about me that doesn't feel aligned and confident and proud. There are many days where that feeling is unsettling. I can't quite explain how it feels to have lived my whole life frustrated, annoyed, encumbered and generally confused by the reflection I saw in the mirror each day and to now wake up and feel only peace and joy! Joy? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I wouldn't have hateful, bitter thoughts when I passed by a mirror or store window. Never did I think I would want to take pictures of myself topless and post them on facebook. And never did I think I'd feel disappointed that I took it down--that I wasn't brave enough to leave it up. I guess I just figured that other people don't post pictures of themselves half naked (well, some people do, but that's why I stopped using Myspace) so I shouldn't, either.

So many people have been extremely supportive and wonderful, even as they go about their cisgendered existence---not understanding on any level what it feels like to be me. The gender and sex of their bodies make sense and they feel ok. They don't get my experience, I don't get theirs but we don't have to. We just agree to have our relative experiences.

It feels confusing but at the same time very liberating that I no longer compare my identity to theirs, feeling like I'm wrong or broken in some way because I take hormones and had surgery to look a way that feels right and good. Because, honestly? If that's what it took for me to wake up feeling more confident, centered and proud and be able to bring more grace and peace to my working relationships and friendships---so be it. The old me: full of anger, fear, self-loathing and bitterness certainly wasn't making the progress and having the incredible positive impact I've had since taking on this transition.

This is what being trans* means for me. This is what it looks like. This is what it feels like.

It feels wonderful to be me.


  1. This is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this. You continue to be an inspiration to any and everyone working to heal their relationship with their body. Thank you.

  2. I have tears of joy in my eyes after reading this post. <3

  3. Your healing story is inspirational to all. May we each find inner peace, strength and confidence as you have.

  4. Love you honesty D and willingness to look at yourself, go deep and share it. You're an inspiration to me :-)


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