Surreal

That is the only word I can think of to describe today.

I spent my morning walking in a fog. Numb. Scarcely aware of the world around me. If you are aware of the presidential election results from last night, the reason I was acting this way should be self-evident.

I wasn’t sure what to make of the people walking around me as I wandered through the job fair, coffee-deprived and shaken up and thinking of what the next four years will look like for my country. Wondering how many of these people helped vote our new president in. Wondering how many had ignored the voices of all the minority groups who begged for them to vote Clinton. Wondering.

I cried tears of grief because we live in a sick, sick world. A world where people can be so hateful that the very existence of someone of a different race, gender, or orientation is seen as something to be revolted at.

It was surreal. Like waking up in the prologue of a dystopian novel.

Then, this afternoon, I headed to the clinic. I had my consultation appointment with my new therapist who specializes in transgender patients.

It was my first time seeing a therapist like this. It was my first time filling out forms about my dysphoria and gender identity. After talking with her for over an hour and a half, it became clear that I might start hormonal replacement therapy within a couple months, and could have top surgery within a year or so. I didn’t have the words to tell her how excited I was, and the relief within me that sang, “All those months of suffering and not knowing if I could hold on…it was all worth it. Just for this moment.”

My therapist was very helpful in explaining everything to me. She even directed me to a local transgender support group, an LGBT-friendly church, and offered to help me through the process of legally changing my name when the time comes. Of course, the family therapy sessions will be another story, but at least I will have my therapist there with me to help explain things.

It was surreal, much like my morning had been, but for completely different reasons.

In the midst of everything happening and all the fear and hate and confusion, I had a strong glimmer of hope.

I cried tears of joy because I had taken a big step in my journey of emotional healing. Of my body expressing the man I am inside. Of being able to feel like a person again and function to my fullest potential. It was like being able to breathe after near-drowning.

I can honestly say that half a year ago, I thought I would not survive to see myself on HRT. I thought I would be dead from suicide. That one day I would choose getting it over with than holding out a minute longer.

And yet, here I am, the physical transition almost imminent and at the tip of my fingers and a very, very real possibility in the near future. Not just a dream behind the moon and beyond the rain, but my reality, and my hope.

I still grieve for our country and all the people groups who are going to hurt because of what’s happened. And I will not stop praying for them and staying aware of their situations. But today’s big step for me was the motivation I need to not give up. To endure. To fight. To be a voice where there is silence, and be a leader where there is confusion.

It is why I am including many LGBT, non-white, and mentally ill characters in my stories. My personal favorites to write are queer women who endure and save the day without having to change who they are for anybody. Those are the kind of stories I want to leave behind as my legacy.

And I’m not backing down, no matter what happens.

I eagerly await the day I get my first shot of Testosterone. But I’m just as much of a man on that day as I am now.

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