Transition as a Gift

Contributing Author: Andie, UK

Nothing is so profound as finding yourself, and yet we never stop to think about it. It reaches places you never knew were there, and yet is the most secure state of being you can imagine. Sometimes I think that “transition” is the greatest gift a human being can have. Transition? Think “from inauthenticity to authenticity” rather than from one gender to another because it isn’t that. The world is cruel about it; society cannot deal with it; some religious experience comes close to it, but it is not a common event in people’s lives.

When you come to understand and truly accept that your outer manifestation does not need to dictate your soul, you are freed. Not into a kindly world, but from all the frictions of having-to-be. Time and again, the story I hear from trans* people is one of not belonging, of knowing you are not what people expect you to be, and being unable to make sense of it. It is the source of self-hatred and anger and ultimately can be self-destructive. Gender-aligned people do not experience this. There are other reasons for similar feelings, of course, but this one is because of the way you were born. This is because society has not given you permission to simply be as you are, let alone find a remedy.

People asked me with kindly concern after my “courage” for “coming out”: “How are you?”

“It isn’t courage; it’s being. It isn’t coming out; it’s shaking off. How am I? If I had known for a moment that I was allowed to be this happy with myself, I would have done it long ago.”

I am not one who is fortunate enough to have kept my family. I still have an amazing sister and I have a son. The rest of my family has closed itself against me. So how can I possibly be so happy with myself? It’s because I really know myself at last and I also know what love is and what it is not. I know when love is simply filling in someone else’s self-image, and when it is knowing the other as other. It took losing all I held as most true and permanent – and realising it was neither – to really understand that knowing who I am, valuing that above all else, and seeing others as they are, is the only foundation for love and for life really lived.

What does this mean? It means that I have gained validity and that all my relationships with other people have changed forever. I am who I am, not what anyone else would like me to be in order to complete their own self-image. I am free at last to learn to love myself, and therefore to really give love in return.

10 thoughts on “Transition as a Gift

  1. tina201301

    I wonder if this also works the same way for non-passing people. Yes you can sort out your gender identity and thus get away from the feeling of inauthenticity. But I don’t think that the feelings of non-belonging can really go away if you are seen as your birth gender by people around you even after transition.

    1. Andie Davidson

      I think it does. Most people do not get noticed, and many in the wrong light could easily be seen as gender-ambiguous. Authenticity, however, comes from within and governs how at ease you are with yourself, how you respond and interact, how you naturalise behaviourally to your true self. There is learning in gesture, posture, vocalisation and presentation, but it isn’t about looking pretty. Delivering yourself isn’t “passing”, and I blogged a while ago on andiesplace about being “acceptably different”.

      1. tina201301

        I agree with you that transitioning is an important step towards authenticity and creates the possibility of “delivering yourself” and expressing who you are.
        But yet, if you are still read as your assigned gender after transition, you are trying to deliver something, but something else is received because it is seen together with the gender you are assumed to be.
        I am an feminine, but rather assertive woman who sometimes presents rather feminine and sometimes more androgynous. But since I am read as male, I am perceived to be a feminine (probably gay) man or just as a weirdo who for some odd reason wears a skirt. This creates a lot of irritation and makes harmless interaction with people very different because they don’t know how to relate to me and think of me very differently than I do.
        There is very little I can do about it because it comes from my body stature and the fact that I don’t want to adhere to gender stereotypes.
        So in that sense trans is very frustrating because it keeps me from successfully delivering myself.

  2. transpacificgirl

    Thank you for articulating this so well. I love the language of “Think “from inauthenticity to authenticity” rather than from one gender to another…” because that is at the core of my own experience. And not surprisingly my “transition” has led to a series of other transformations, spiritual and otherwise, that share the same moving from inauthenticity to authenticity. When people tell me they are inspired by my courage, I know what they mean is the courage to be authentic, and even on my worst days I am grateful that being born transgender has given me a path to inspire others, of all walks of life, to their own greater authenticity. 🙂

  3. martha richardson

    i found this article to be extremely simular to my own almost as if i wrote it,even phrases like “i am who i am “, you are not alone when it comes to family i too was not fortunite. i’ve wondered if being transgendered was a blessing or a curse, i tend to believe its a blessing,we are unique and have it of 2 worlds,its brings internal peace.

  4. Brettany Renée Blatchley

    This is deeply beautiful and profoundly true…

    I have also lost family in my transition, though I have also been incredibly blessed in relational ways along the very same path. I wish pain and loss were not part of transition, especially for those who love me, but it is…

    …We all have “growth opportunities” forced upon us; it was not my desire to be made transsexual, but these opportunities can be embraced by others to grow just as I am growing into the person God means for me to be…

    …Being who I am is all I want: I do not try to pass as a woman; with greater integrity and fidelity, I am passing as myself, who is a woman – it is an inside-out thing…

    .,.This is not about “being happy;” it is all about “being.”

    And for those who may experience the loss of Brett, know that I honor my past as a man, as much as my present and future as a woman. Brett is not dead and gone, but has grown and blossomed into Brettany.

    Blessings & Joy!!!


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