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Steps

On Sunday, I hit the send button on an email that I've waited my whole life to send. It was scary, but important, but not yet the really big email, just the first step.

So, let me set the stage a little...

A friend of mine recently came out and I am overjoyed for her, she is such a beautiful lady and I'm excited for her journey. I am also, if I am going to be honest, that triggered my dysphoria so hard that I felt like I might drown in it. I've thought of nothing else since.

So, why now? Well, I think there's been a few events in the last couple of years that have started to push me off my suppression.

First, a friend of mine is working very hard to support her trans daughter and I have been a place for advice and support. That led me to reconnecting to what is actually true today and that was, to be honest, almost shocking. 20 years ago, when I was pushing my boundaries, the world was a place of really tight spaces and very strong gatekeepers. I once stood outside the walls of CAMH in Toronto and dreaded the thought of having to justify my place in the world to somebody that had no real connection to it. That isn't true today and, while it's not just walk into your local drugstore and pick up an HRT package off the shelf, the hurdles to transition are much lower today. A step for me.

Second, a coworker is transitioning and nobody at work seems to care. I'm in sufficiently senior conversations, ones that discuss career paths and potential, and I have never, ever, heard a single comment reflecting her gender identity. That got me to re-engage with the larger community, albeit virtually, through this blog, Twitter, and Instagram. A step for me.

Finally, we come to today, and I have done almost nothing other than think of my friend and how I chose to "cope" with my life and I realized that I wasn't doing anything of the sort, there was no coping, it was suppression and numbing. Today, I had my first session with a therapist and it was as though a weight came off me. I can't tell you the last time that I cried three times in a one hour discussion, but today I did that. She asked me twice if I wanted to live full time as a woman. The first time, I mostly said yes, but hedged. The second time? I cried. I told her that I was almost 52 and that I'm really, really, just tired of being numb and that I needed to do that. A step for me.

It's 2020, this needs to be the year that I stop running from who I am and, instead, walk towards it. One step at a time.

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