Seven reasons why being trans rocks
You know your body, and are free to express your self. While all around may question your identity, there is a tranquillity to resolving your own personal gender identity and accepting who you are. Most cis people are not aware of the truth that comes from that aha moment, seeing that your gender is this rock solid thing, and that what ever comes form that moment is a personal quest that lasts a life time. It is both philosophical, in as much that trans folk have to fundamentally ask themselves which gender they actually are, as it is anything expressive. There is no right or wrong answer, and wherever trans folk end up on the gender spectrum it is based on a deep sense of knowing and personal exploration.
We get to embrace parts of ourselves seldom discussed or acknowledged by cis-people. This follows on from gaining a sense of self-knowing. When you explore your gender and search for answers you discover facets of yourself that move beyond the external gender most people present. Trans folk, for better or worse, examine every assumption we have about gender, embracing cultural ideas of gender in giddy excitement to then slowly pick through those gender ideas to find an identity that best suits us. Cis folk do the same, finding a style, aesthetic, and mode of being that suits them, but usually without the intense self critique that trans folk do.
Trans folk get to play in the dressing up box. Okay, this may seem frivolous, especially as technically everyone is free to dress and express themselves as they wish; but, one of the quirks/joys of transitioning is finding the image that best suits you, then evolving it. It almost becomes a second teenage phase for older transitioners, and it can be seen as a bone of contention when people dress younger than society deems they should. However, by rummaging through life’s dressing up box we find the right image that fits us, that sooths our souls. It is not easy, and at times really does require help, but it can be intensely liberating.
The weight of the world is lifted from our shoulders. Often what is tying trans folk down to bad habits, depression, addictions, and inner turmoil is a gender crisis, and by being able to work through those issues we lift that oppressive weight off our backs. The existential mode of living that comes with being weighed down suddenly evaporates, and while every burden is not released, by being able to confront our gender identities we make a start on living our better lives. There is no one perfect outcome, as each trans person finds their own path, but without the crushing weight of gender dysphoria they can put their best face to the world.
The world gets to see us as we wish to be seen. For all its cankers and burrs the world can be a cruel place at the best of times, yet by being the best versions of ourselves trans folk face into the wind and find a rock to secure themselves to. It may not be easy, indeed trans lives can be irredeemably harsh due to society’s ill intent, yet in being a true version of ourselves we do so in the fullness of knowing that this is who we are, not what you wish us to be. Ours are lives lived on the sleeve, hearts on display, a raw honesty that few get to fully hide. The world sees us as we are, rendered externally what we deeply know internal.
We get to face up to our regrets and acknowledge them. One of the questions I asked myself when I thought about transitioning was what would I regret if I did not do it. I was only 17, so this was a weird question to ask myself in hindsight, but it made me face up to the fact that if I had not transitioned then I would most likely regret every step taken from that point on. When trans folk transition there are often many regrets about past lives not lived, yet by coming out they are able to embrace a new life without the perpetual regret of wondering what if. Regrets are both past and future, and by seeing this in the moment we get to have a future that is without gender regrets.
Life is for the living, and it is better to be alive than dead. This is the hardest point, but probably the most honest. Being trans rocks because, honestly, sometimes the alternative is too hard to mention. We transition and explore our genders for many different reasons, often because we feel we have no choice. Ours is a path of living, of hope, of knowing that the alternative was too nihilistic to contemplate. Far too many trans folk commit suicide because they feel they have no other option, that society’s burdens are too much for them. By having the space to be ourselves we walk the path of life, the ridge line above the valley of the shadow of death out of which we have climbed. Ours is a lamp light, a beacon to ourselves knowing that we are our best selves. Wherever we end up on the gender spectrum we are alive, we thrum with a life best lived, and in the end we rock because we are living our best lives. It may not be easy, but we are alive.