Be Who You Are Meant To Be
by Garland Guidry
People often ask me when did I start my transition. I have now started to answer them by saying that I have been “Transitioning” all of my life. I knew as a child that I was Trans. But one day as a teenager, the thought came to my head that no matter what transformations I made to my body, that I’d never be a genetic female. And of course to me, at the time, this meant that no other version of a female was acceptable. With that thought ingrained in my mind, I decided to accept myself as a gay male for the majority of my life. As much as I laughed and smiled during those years, I was never truly happy in my skin. But I tried to live as close to my authentic self by being very androgynous. I went back and forth for years changing my look and style trying to find the person I wanted to see every time I looked in the mirror. But no ‘style’ change could help fix what I was going through.
Today, at the age of 42, I am so happy that I didn’t start the hormone process until I was 39. My emotions were extremely out of control until I was about 37. If I’d started HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) any sooner than I did, I would have lost my mind. Hormones are not to be played with, they literally chemically alter your brain and your body. I was fortunate that I’ve always resembled a female, have always been feminine, and my voice has never been very masculine. So people would often refer to me as she, or redirect me to the ladies room when I was going into the men’s. Therefore by the time I snapped out of denial, and realized that I am Transgender, hormones were just the next step, not the first.
By taking a different route to get to where I am today, I did the inner work and discovered what it means to be me, to be a woman, to be human. Once you have a pretty clear idea about who you are, and what you represent, it becomes a lot easier to stand your ground. That means when someone calls you ‘he’ instead of ‘she’ you can handle the situation without ever having to question your authenticity. A woman’s power comes from the feminine energy within. It’s not in the makeup, the dress, or the heels. So when your womanhood is tested, you may be knocked off balance for a second, but you will regain your stance quicker than you think.
You will become like the tree that is beat up by the winds. It will bend in every direction, but if it’s a strong healthy tree, it will not break. I have realized that I am that tree. The substance I so diligently worked to attain covers me. It allows me to be flexible. So no matter what my outer circumstances look like, I know that everything I need is inside of me. It will carry me through anything and can NEVER be taken away. For that, today and everyday, I stand in gratitude.
Garland Guidry is a hairstylist, author of Memoirs of a GayShe, and an outspoken Transgender activist. She has also been the lead blogger for the organization Friend Movement as well as blog editor.