The single most important thing I can tell anyone that is transitioning, considering transitioning or struggling with their gender is: It is 100% ok to be exactly who you are.
If the people in your life won’t tell you – I will and I am. You deserve to be happy – you deserve to live your life the way you want to live it – because it’s YOURS.
It is not easy but you have to believe it.
The single most important thing I can tell family members, friends, co-workers, allies and anyone that knows someone that is transitioning, considering transitioning or struggling with their gender is: Lead with love. Think before you speak because the person you are talking to is scared; scared that you will not love them, scared that you will not accept them and scared that they will not be alright. Lead with love.
This was hard to do. Hard to be. Hard to swallow. Hard to accept. I can tell you without a doubt that it is NOT a choice. I didn’t choose this – it’s who I am. I can’t explain it, (shouldn’t have to), it just is.
To everyone else that knew me, I was fine. Confident, outgoing, funny, jerk-ish, “regular”. To me, I was all those things too. I knew something was off but I was fine. Great family, great job, great friends, EVERYTHING WAS FINE. But that’s just it – fine wasn’t taking away the anguish I felt every time I looked in the mirror. Fine wasn’t filling the empty space I didn’t understand.
Sometimes I wish I would have done this years ago but then I remember that I wouldn’t be who I am right now, today, if I had. The journey to the point of getting started is really important; my journey included pain and family issues, relationships, break-ups, mistakes, wins & losses, cross-country moves, Victor Newman (yep, THE Victor Newman from The Young & the Restless), and the most amazing dog – it all mattered.
I learned what love really should feel like. I learned that when you’re in the right place, at the right time with the right person, things fall into place.
You will know when it’s time. It’s similar to when you know a relationship is over. You stay in it at first because you’re still holding on to hope that it’s going to work out; then you stay because it’s comfortable; and then, you’re almost there when you’re hit with the absolute fear of being alone or starting over. That keeps you trapped for awhile. But then, you reach the point where you can’t take it for one more minute – if you don’t get out, you will explode.
When you’re ready to explode, you’re ready to leap.