Lately, I´ve been consistently writing about the difficulties of being transgender. Mostly, I wrote about my own experiences, in which official local protocols collide with my own personal trouble, making the whole process rather tiresome. If you would ask be if I´d prefer to be cisgender right now, I´d probably say yes. However, there was also a time where I defiantly said no. Here´s some reasons for that.
Being trans-anything, not conforming to one space but instead crossing over, poses significant challenges. First of all, the challenge to leave the comfort zone and uproot possible controversy in your personal relations. Coming out of the closet as your true self can be daunting – I experienced it up close when a friend of mine told me about his difficulties in coming out as bisexual. He´d been truly scared of their reactions.
Living in a time where your whole identity is still bordering on the controversial – albeit more and more accepted – requires a good deal of personal resolve, especially in cases where family members or friends might be critical and resort to “changing your mind“. Wavering between your loyalty to loved ones and your loyalty to yourself, you discover that in the end self-love leads to more genuine love from others.
As you move on from coming out into (medical) transition, there are more tests of personality ahead. The routine challenges and hardship of waiting for months (or years) at a time, and undergoing psychological examination in order to be able to live in the gender of your choice, require an amount of assertiveness you might not have needed to when still living in your previous gender role.
Through the confrontations that you face during transition, you discover what your true needs are, how to stand up for your rights, and develop the critical awareness needed to point out injustices. The process of trial and error might also help you discover what you´re all about, what gender (or being agender) really means for you, and how to express this in your daily life.
If anything, being transgender is the School of Hard Knocks in unapologetic being and radical self-acceptance. It teaches compassion, endurance, the value of friendship, the importance of community, and might be one of the fastest roads to development and change that a human being can experience. A bumpy ride to what hopefully will be a very rewarding destination.