Whenever I look back at some of my older photos and pictures that date back before 2009 or so, before I came out of the closet and started attending counselling, I am easily amazed at how much progress I have made in transitioning– without hormones or surgeries or any of that stuff. I am amazed at the differences I see in myself.
Here are photos of me in 2014, after three years of ballet classes and about five years of counselling since coming out of the closet.
Here are photos of me at a Transgender Day of Silence event at Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT. some time in 2010 I believe.
But here I am in 2006, in Hartford, CT. celebrating the annual Chinese Riverboat Festival along the Connecticut River. A world of difference.
The thing is, I am not ashamed of who I was in the past or who I am in the present. I know that to be my true and honest self is going to be a journey. I also know that the journey will have winding bends, obstacles in my way, and ups and downs. Sometimes I will be asked to take several steps back in order to make many more steps forward. Yet, all through my journey people will have a lot to say about me and what they see and what they think of me. People may have strong opinions about the person I should be and the person they want to see. Some people prefer the part of me that is masculine and male… some people prefer the part of me that is feminine and female. Both parts are honest and both are who I was and who I am to some extent. Yet no matter what people say or think, it is about how I feel and about my goal of being a whole and honest person.
I see myself as femme, female, feminine. Maybe I don’t fully look particularly female or present a very attractive or pleasing feminine appearance… and maybe I don’t match your definition of female or feminine….
It is not up to anyone to define me for me. I am not interested in wedging myself into other people’s molds or forms. I am not interested in conforming to rigid definitions. I am not particularly interested in meeting or exceeding superficial or arbitrary expectations. I am mainly interested in being comfortable in my body and skin. I am interested in feeling pretty, feeling feminine, feeling natural and happy on my own terms. I am interested in asserting my own sense of self and my own sense of identity. Everybody else has a right to be themselves and take ownership over who and what they are– so why not I?
God put me on this Earth to enjoy the wonder of His creation… and to spread good news and to cheer people up and to inspire and to be creative… and to help those less fortunate than myself. God put me here to make a positive change and impact on people’s lives. I can’t do that if I am not making positive change in my own life. Part of that change is being the girl or young woman I know I am on the inside… and letting that girl and young woman out where she can be happy.