I hope everyone had a great holiday! I know for some in the community, this can be a hard time, and for you, my heart goes out to you.
This time of year is we tend to recap our year. What was great, what were the moments we want to leave behind us, and what different events evolved our very being.
I am no different in this respect. I think about what 2013 had to offer me. I had to chance to go to California to meet my partner’s family. Closer to the end of the year, her and I decided to move in together. We are currently looking at other “next steps” in our relationship.
I moved from my store I’ve been at for five years to a new store. This means I had to adjust and come out of a safe zone I had in my colleagues and regulars that came into my location. By coming to my new store, I was able to meet a lot of new people who have been terrific to get to know and interact with on a regular basis.
I have been getting involved with a community of people know as cosplayers. Cosplayers are fans of a fandom that create costumes and portray those characters, usually at conventions, or other social events that are part of the “geek community.” By this interaction, I have joined the photo staff of a local anime convention, do photos on my own accord with another convention, and even started doing my own costumes of characters I appreciate.
Notice though as I talked the different private life events, and hobbies that takes up my time, that I didn’t discuss my being trans? There’s a reason for it.
Obviously, being trangender often can impact one’s view of the world. What I find is that some people get caught up on their being transgender, and can’t speak on beyond that about themselves. This doesn’t mean that it happens to all people who are transgender, and even for some who’s gender identity plays into what they do to pass the time, it turns into activism. Needless to say that activism is needed for equality, and I support those individuals.
What I am referring to is, on social networks, I reach out and talk to people from several communities I am involved in. More often I will find people that say they trans, and their tweets are all about being trans, and when they want to talk to other people, they want to talk about being trans; do we see a trend here?
There’s more to life then just your gender identity. When I meet new people and start talking to you, I want to know more about what you actually do. Prior to your coming out, what interests did you have? What new hobbies or interests are you embracing now? Live life! We transition, so we can live life, and be happy in that life, being authentic to who we are as a person!
I am going put myself out as the example to what I am referring. If you follow me on Twitter, my profile opens by saying: “Playing through this game we call life best I can.1 part writer, 1 photographer, 1 part nerd
#girlslikeus.” So, I offhanded mention I am trans via the hash tag, but beyond that, I refer to myself as a writer, photographer, and nerd. That’s what I want people to know me for in life. I want to be known for my passions. I don’t want people to just know, that my assigned gender at birth was wrong, and I had to work to come out and correct it.
Here’s what I want from you, the reader. I want you to think long and hard about what you like, what are your interests? If you are cisgender, what are interests you had in the past, what gets your attention now? Transgender folks, what were your interests before coming out, what are they now that you are out? Do you still do what made you happy before transition? What have you discovered?
My example again, I am a nerd. I love video games, I love Sci-Fi medias ( this means games, movies, shows, etc.) I love anime, I love taking photos, I love to write, I like watching sports, and teams I liked to cheer on, I love movies, get the idea? These are all things I liked before coming out, and transitioning. I never forgot what made my personality, I still love everything I listed above. Now, I’m just embracing more interests. I am getting to know the convention scenes, costuming and cosplay, (as mentioned before) I am doing even more vocal training to see if I can perhaps sing. I am getting to know fashion better. These are all new since coming out and being me.
That’s who I am, that’s what I love, that’s what makes me me. I never forgot about what I loved, and I never forgot those loves just because my appearance changed. I am encouraging you, if you have interests that you love, don’t forget it them in your transitional journey, those are what made you you, then and now. Embrace those old interests, and embrace the new ones, let those define you, not just your gender identity.
Happy New Year, and may 2014 be the best yet!