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Freedom to express


I tweeted the other day “one of the things that feels really good about being out is that I feel like I can finally react to things from friends and family like I always wanted to.” I don’t think I can overstate the sense of emotional happiness that stems from that simple truth.

One of the more significant personal challenges, at least for me, in being trans and in the closet was this feeling that I needed to constantly guard my reactions to things. It could be as simple as using a thumbs up on Facebook instead of a heart, fearing that people might wonder why I chose the latter. Or could be choosing not to post a picture or an article on a topic I cared about because I might tip my hand to those around me. It is a truly exhausting state to be in. Yet, I did it for decades. 

I once commented that trans people are often really great method actors, able to subsume themselves into a role such that world around them had no idea that they were acting. As with any method acting, you’re constantly critiquing your performance. Did I do it right? Was there a slip that will be remembered by others? I can’t remember the number of times I went home after a night out wondering if anything I said came across wrong in some way, seemingly discordant for others. It made for some restless nights.

I tell you all this because, in the days and months ahead, on social media and in blogs, I will post a plethora of purple coloured hearts. I will share cute pictures of red pandas and other adorable animals. I will post articles and information about the trans experiences. I will post selfies. I will make comments like “OMG, that’s sooooo cute!” There will much of this! Why?

I can finally release all of that pent up desire to do those very things, free from the notion that I could not. I can’t begin to tell you how much that very simple, very basic, difference means to me.

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