A lot has happened behind the scenes in the past month or two. It’s been mentally and physically exhausting, but the worst is far behind me. Things are working out remarkably well. But I realized I need to dot a few i’s and cross a few t’s.
Actually, there’s only one point that I’d like to talk about, and then I can finally call this transitional stage finished. I don’t know if there’s ever an optimal time for change to come around or be announced. But credit where it’s due, I’ve got an amazingly supportive readership, so it’s worked pretty well so far. For those who came in late (hello, new followers!), I’m transgender. I recently outed myself on both sides of the screen as part the process towards self-reconciliation and healing. The more I’m open about that, the easier it becomes to know the same freedom of identity that most people enjoy. It’s time to take another step on that journey now.
A number of you know me by my legal birth name. All good. If you’re more comfortable using that name and masculine pronouns after all this time, I’m not going to get bent out of shape. Fact is, I think part of the reason most people feel like they have to tiptoe around TGs is that we’re often hard-lined or even militant about such things. If you think about it, you’d feel weird if someone called you by the wrong gender too. Add that in with years or decades of self-doubt, denial, and the rest of the hard road to personal acceptance, it’s easy to see why someone would blow up. That said, the other side of the tale is that people need time to adjust, and there are no hard and fast rules that the cisgender can reference and utilize. No one has made that easy. I’m trans, and I still don’t know how to approach it most days. I’ve realized that while it is a big deal to many, it’s also the thing that will ensure a great many will not accept the transgendered. It doesn’t have to make sense right away, and it probably never will to the types who get mad about having to press “1” for English. My policy here is that of my old teacher: “teach, don’t preach.” People become resistant if you push too hard. I want the communication lines to be open so that understanding can grow.
As I say, I’m not going to get upset about the use or misuse of name or pronouns, save for when such is done in malice. But I want to offer up my reality. Since I was five, I’ve called myself by a feminine name that felt right. At first it was a little game I played. Then it was something I hid for all the reasons I’ve previously explained. Then when I finally resigned myself, I claimed the name as my true identity… and still hid it. Resigning oneself isn’t the same thing as acceptance. That took longer. Recently, I’ve opened to others as to my nature, and you’ve all been so wonderful and supportive. The next step is to open up about who I am. I’ve already updated my “about me” page here on the site, but let’s do this properly.
Please allow me to (re)introduce myself. My name is Emily.