“I am not my gender”

Project Description:

It’s pretty clear to me now that my entire life has been leading up to this juncture when I can finally say, “I accept myself for who I am and what I’ve been through and that’s okay!” All of the pain, the hurt, and the suffering that I have endured within my lifetime were for a better, more positive purpose. From time to time I become overwhelmed with, what I call, “the sadness”. It’s that infinitely desolate landscape in our minds where we feel isolated and just beyond any shadow of hope. This is where people lose their souls to depression, addiction, or much worse….suicide. I have made a conscious decision to use the totality of my experience in order to help, encourage, and inspire others. Embracing myself for exactly who I am has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.

My major insecurity has been the fact that I am Transgender. More specifically, I am a 32 year old post-operative Transsexual woman. Until recently, simply saying the word “transsexual” or hearing the word “tranny” made me extremely uncomfortable mainly due to my own internalized Transphobia. As a Trans woman I’ve carried around a lot of feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment due to my first hand experiences of discrimination, ridicule, and accusations of being deceitful or questioning the authenticity of my womanhood. I am not my gender, nor am I my surgeries. I’m an artist, a musician, a seeker, a wife, a friend, a sister, granddaughter, a free thinker, a believer and much, much more.

I’ve known from a very young age exactly who I was and that my mind, body, and spirit were in discord with one another, yet I also knew that I didn’t want to be this way. I never chose to be like this. For the first 19 years of my life I suppressed who I really was and because of it I’ve suffered severely. Coming out to my family and friends was utterly liberating because I no longer had to hide who I was. Instead, I thought that I could now transition to the person I’ve always known myself to be, live my life as a “normal” cisgender female and everything would fine, but it wasn’t fine. I just went from hiding who I was on the inside to hiding who I used to be. It was always still me just in a different form. Constantly carrying around this secret and paralyzed with fear of who may or may not know was too much for one person to bear. I’m finally releasing this crazed monkey off my back, as it were, and saying I’m proud of who I am! I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles and I am a better person for it. I truly believe that the Universe, God, or whatever you want to call it wants to express and manifest itself through the natural world. The most natural state of being is that which is unobstructed from love. As long as we are true to ourselves and love the true essence of who we are there’s no greater link to the Divine.

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