I spent some time yesterday searching through old emails from four years ago trying to find some information I had been sent by a friend. I had met her earlier in the day for the first time since the dreaded pandemic has hit our mobility and it was lovely, a special couple of hours.
As I trawled through the emails from earlier years I realised how easy it is to forget the stages of arriving at where I am now. It was this friend who had supported me for being transgender before I started to transition. I was really surprised at how closeted I still was when we were corresponding, though she had only met me as my true self. Reading her supportive emails it was quite clear that she understood where I was far more than I did at the time but gave me the space to inch my way forward and finally transition.
I was clearly really scared of taking any steps out of the closet, worrying about how it would impact on every aspect of my life and oblivious to how it was limiting and damaging me by living a lie and a sham. I thought I was coping, doing okay!
It is only looking back from where I am now, fully out of the closet for some three years, living in my truth that I can tell the difference. I know it wasn’t easy facing up to transitioning. I probably made every excuse I could to put it off, such as I would face financial disaster, nobody would work with me. I was self-employed, deliberately chosen so that I did not have to transition at work, but then of course I would not be able to get clients, or keep existing clients. I would never look good enough to be able to work and on and on it went.
The truth is none of my fears came to fruition. Yes there were difficulties, rejections, none earth shattering. Life doesn’t change as if by magic. Any problems you have before transition remain after transition. What does change is the ability to deal with them. Without the constant gender dysphoria being uppermost in your mind day in day out I have found myself over time to have become free which has given me the energy and impetus to deal with problems that were there previously. However, the greatest gift is to be able to live truthfully, not living a lie.
At has been interesting to see how far I have come, how much of the past has faded away and how rewarding it is to have transitioned. I am so grateful for the patience and support I received from my friend and that by having to look through the emails from a few years ago I have been able to recognise how much has changed. There is no point in wishing I had done it sooner. No point in regretting the lost time. It is as it is and I need to embrace every day of living the true me.