Skip to main content

Belonging


I had a moment the other day, one that I seldom recall ever encountering in the past and that was, quite simply, a moment of belonging.

The thing about being trans, at least for me, is that I always had the personal sense that I never really belonged in any group. Even in groups where I belonged in theory, such as my hockey team, I still didn't really belong. There would always be a context, a situation, in which I would inevitably feel like I was on the outside looking in. Always.

In a lot of ways, it came down to not really sharing interests. Take the hockey team, for example. I played on the all star team in my league, at my age level, for years as a goalie and the core group of that team remained unchanged throughout that time. We did a lot of things together, outside of already playing a lot of hockey and, while I participated, I never really felt "in" the group. That was all me, though, because a lot of the time they'd want to do things, or talk about things, that I was entirely disinterested in. I faked it, I got very good at doing that, but I wasn't in it because I didn't feel I belonged in it. I felt like a poser because, well, I was faking it.

This translates to a lot of settings, like get-togethers where I tried to be engaged with the guys in a conversation that would, inevitably, turn to things that I didn't care about and so then I would drift out of it. The observant would probably have noted that I often gravitated to the groups of women instead, kind of there, but not really in the conversation. Wanting to be though, but just didn't know how.

So, I went through life feeling like a square peg in a round hole and I got used to it. However, the other day, I got an email at work that was aimed at a group of us women and it started with, "Hello ladies..." and the rest of the content didn't really matter anymore. It was in that moment where I felt that sense of euphoria, that sense of belonging, and it made me silly happy the rest of the night.

As I continue along my journey, I know there will be moments where I doubt myself. It happens to all of us and has already happened to me. However, the reason I keep a journal is to be able to look back and read how I felt, to revisit what I thought, and to remind myself. This feeling of belonging that came over me was entirely spontaneous, and so completely genuine, that I know can use it as a shield in the future. 

And as I sit here and listen
to the wind in the trees
I feel the roots growing
from deep inside me
all the way through me
and into the earth
Into this ground that I walk
barefoot
My mind may sometimes wander
to other places I call home
but right in this moment
I am where I belong

- Kim Bowman


Comments

While you're here, you might like:

When a company (Voilá) keeps screwing up

Now it's time to really talk about this because fumble after fumble has been the name of the game for Voilá by Sobeys. This story is the basis of my earlier post:  It's not polite when you get it wrong .

It's not polite when you get it wrong

I've talked about voice issues before, for many of us in the trans community it remains a major source of frustration and irritation. This is especially true on the phone.

Tips on changing your name in Ontario

I've been blogging about changing your name and gender marker here and there, so now that is basically done for me, I thought I would share some tips I learned along the way,