As my stepfather is keen to saying “I’ll get right on that, right after I eat this grapefruit.” But there’s never any grapefruit to be found. I think that’s the point.
Right, so. I was just driving my car home last night and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I thought, “Wow, I made it.”
Speaking specifically to my other trans friends that sometime read my drivel, do any of you feel like that? As in, we made it through the darkest times, the most awkward parts, the constant barrage of questions and at the end, here we are. On the downward slope of transition?
I know some of my trans friends have a hard time remembering what it was like before transition. It’s a sort of fuzzy memory. You know it happened, but you can’t really explain the particulars any longer. Now, myself, I haven’t quite come to that place. Perhaps, I never will. I have a tendency to live in the past. I used to assume that the Jimmy Eat World song “23” was written for me. That line that says, “I won’t always live in my regrets” rang true to me. While I still think the rest of the song feels relevant, that line no longer means what it meant.
I haven’t forgotten what the pre-Addison life was about. Honestly, I remember important moments in my life in an almost HD perfect clarity kind of way. Honestly, I don’t know that I want to lose that. I’m sure age will take that from me, but I don’t think transition will be the culprit. Many trans people want to argue about who they were back then and what that means. I try not to get caught up in that part. I only ask that my friends and family, when regaling others with the tales of my vivid past, they respect my pronouns and my name. Just because I was referred to differently at the time, doesn’t mean that I want that to be a part of the story.
In any event, the part that my friends mentioned aside from the fuzzy memory was that they had achieved a sense of normalcy. That the person they are now is the new normal. Moving past the obstacles of transition, navigating shitty healthcare providers, awkward conversations with HR and bosses and the sometimes inevitable changes in the dynamic between you and your family or friends… or both. That having survived that part and surviving the period of limbo. Passing through the phase where you’re still baby trans, freshly hatched from the egg of acceptance, that you have reached peak trans and now the high water mark is receding.
That you are you and no one can dictate that except you. Other people, be it family, co-workers, friends, enemies or people on the internet, don’t define you. They can’t change you. That you are done with all that. Having set all that stuff aside, you look into the horizon and you see the rest of your life to live as you deem correct. You made it.