Is it okay to be different?

This is not just about being trans. Being trans makes you different from the norm, from the binary genders so I take that for granted now. I am different, I am a trans woman. Apparently trans people make up about 1% of the population. Hard to believe it is such a small percentage considering the outrage and media coverage this tiny minority seems to provoke at this time.

Rather than the difference of being trans, I am referring to wanting to be an individual, not following what society considers to be the norm. When I was younger it was, (showing my age) a detached house, a mortgage, 2.4 children and a Ford Cortina. I did not want that. It was too set in stone. Where was the freedom? I don’t know why it seemed so awful to me. Maybe I didn’t understand that you could be an individual as well as following a normal, conventional path. I  remember sitting in my first office job, a bare white room with a desk and three blue chairs and thinking is this it? I am to sit here for the next forty years shuffling  bits of paper around. I 

Maybe it was because I felt trapped with my transgender identity and needed to break out in some other way since I had created this conventional person to become acceptable, hiding my true self from myself. Maybe I sensed that I was not being true to myself and I could not accept that anything around me was real either and fought it.

I suppose there have always been individuals who follow their dream, though in my world they tended to go unnoticed with everyone following seemingly mundane normal pathways.

I wonder whether the lifetime of self-deception pre transition caused permanent psychological damage? Whether in some way I remain broken? I am entirely comfortable with myself now and apart from the anxiety of transphobia etc am good just trying to get on with my life, yet at the same time I know I have interests which are not mainstream and set me apart from the norm.

Reading the Transgender Issue by Shon Faye I was struck by the concept that the patriarchal, capitalist society needed to change. Shon Faye says in the conclusion “We are symbols of hope for many non trans people, too, who see in our lives the possibility of living more fully and freely. That is why some people hate us: they are frightened by the gleaming opulence of our freedom. Our existence enriches the world.”

Maybe it has been searching for that freedom that has left its scars. Scars that will heal over time as I move towards enjoying the freedom of just being me enjoying my individuality.

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