On Being Trans: A Love Story

by Kai Niezgoda © 2016

Forget every narrative you’ve ever heard about trans people.

Being trans is not about having dysphoria. Being trans is not about hormones or surgery. Being trans is not about hating one’s body or proclaiming one’s body to not be one’s own.

Being trans is about being authentic. Being trans is about the euphoria of having that authenticity seen, validated and celebrated. Being trans is about proclaiming one’s body as one’s own, and taking responsibility for whatever changes one wants or needs to make to one’s body. Being trans is about loving oneself enough to face any number of obstacles for the chance to catalyse that self love through being one’s best and truest self.

Being trans is not a race or a contest. Being trans is not about coming out at three any more than it is about coming out at sixty-three. Being trans is not about having the same sordid story as that documentary you saw, the one that put the subject under a microscope and watched them squirm. Being trans is not about “always knowing.” Being trans is about learning, growing, transforming, at every available moment. Being trans is about accepting that there will always be some element of the unknown.

Being trans is not about fitting into a binary. Being trans is not about fitting into cisgender people’s expectations around gender. Being trans is not about “passing.” Being trans is not about fitting into anything, being constricted by anything, being modeled after anything. Being trans is about breaking free from those restrictions by sheer force of willpower.

Being trans is not about being broken. Being trans is not about something going wrong. Being trans is about realising the assumptions that others have placed on one’s body have always been wrong. Being trans is about correcting their mistake.

Being trans is not about being alone, or rejected, or unlovable. Being trans is about friendship, partnership, and chosen family. Being trans is about finding out for the first time just what “community” means. Being trans is about love without the attachment of expectations. Being trans is about the safety and validation of a love that encompasses one’s heart and not just one’s body. Being trans is about loving oneself enough to say, “I will not hide any part of myself anymore.” Being trans is about putting that into practice.

Being trans is about existing despite all odds, but being trans is also about so much more than just existing. Being trans is about living, really living, liberated from the expectations others have tried so hard to impose. And that is a choice. It is always deliberate. But being trans is not like choosing between chocolate and vanilla; it is like choosing between a full life and a half-death.

Being trans is about being afraid but choosing life anyway. Every day. Every hour. Every moment.

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