Nearly 15th months have passed since she was killed, 14 months since I began HRT, and nearly 9 months since I revealed to the world who I have always really been. Now it has only been 9 days since I emerged with what I know in myself to be a renewed spirit, and really only a few days since I admitted to myself yet another facet of who I am.
|A glade in Reservoir Woods in Roseville, Minnesota|
None of this would ever have happened had I not been determined to cast off Fear. Fear of rejection, of perceived blasphemy which is really a fear of disturbing others comfortable norms and memories, and fear of breaking hearts. Even more difficult was that as I do not consider myself on the whole a person who fears, I found myself protecting the fears of others instead of encouraging them to confront, overcome them. By protecting and enabling fears I had done a grave disservice.
In all cases, it is Fear which prevents knowledge, discovery, inquiry, Love and Growth. In myself, fear inhibited my feeling genuine emotion. Every reaction I ever experienced was filtered. In every human interaction I ever had this filter prevented me from engaging in meaningful conversation with everyone. So long as I remained closeted I could never grow. And had it not been for the encouragement of certain messengers of self-Love early in my coming out, and particularly the one who encouraged me to focus decluttering, letting go of material and emotional waste, to direct my attention to finally focus on loving myself so that I can bring out the independent woman I am, I would still be gripped with fear-- placating the cis-het-christian privileged majority view. I never would have allowed myself to simply learn to discover what I really like, what I have discovered about myself.
One thing I began to notice back in April, I was beginning to discern meaning in words.. I have always regretted my inability to hear lyric whether sung, rapped, or spoken. For the first time I was moved by poetry - so much so that I started to tear up, and desired an empathetic touch.
9 days ago, I was resolved to engage in face-to-face conversation, not necessarily with people who have been and remain my confidants, but with those friends and acquaintances whom I have always perceived as genuine good spirits. It began when I got dressed up and went to Mpls to hear some solo artist friends. I was pretty certain I was going to be alone at a table taking in the music - which was great. Then another musician friend came in and he sat with me, and while I've known him for over 20 years, this was actually the first time since I have known him that I felt I could just converse without the filtering fear.
|Caught alone with the Doritos!|
From this experience, I went to other public gatherings, speaking with others, and then I had a few lunch hour / coffees with those I had kinda known for over 20 years (some since college) and most recently a dinner (okay the dinner was with one of my confidants and her husband). With every conversation these friends remarked on how they felt they were meeting me for the first time. That before I came out, there was a guarded sense between us. It is no longer there.I am grateful and hopeful for growth in these renewed friendships.
I am still on my soul journey and anticipate more breakthroughs, milestones. But what I can say confidently right now is that I know why I remained closeted for so long, but had I known what living is really like, that the world is full of myriad tints and colors of emotion, I would never have tried so hard to pretend to be a man... I would never have subjected myself to the horror, that is "conversion therapy" - a discredited practice advocated by the current GOP candidate for Minnesota Attorney General. This practice is indeed torture inflicted on the vulnerable to weaken their self-worth to the point of committing suicide -- and making them compliant to fear of a privileged pious class of modern day pharisees.
Knowing what I know now, I understand why women like me want to stay closeted, but the world is so much better, relationships are more meaningful when you allow yourself to live.
As for me, I am on continuing on my soul journey.
Love, Authenticity, and Strength
|Late July Selfie in Iowa City|