Monday, 23 May 2011
When coming out, it's often quite easy to want people to accept and understand things right away. While this may be the case for a few people in your life, it is not the case for nearly the rest of everyone in your life. That is why it's become my firm conviction to do what I can to help my friends along the journey of trying to understand and accept me - heck that's part of the reason I blog!
I had 20 years to figure myself out and I'm still working on accepting myself completely. I don't want my friends and family to take 20 years to come to accept me, but I do understand it takes time; it takes education, explanation, experience. I try not to come out to someone, then right away demand that they only call me "M" and be completely fine with everything.
I am a firm believer in helping people to understand. I want them to understand me. I want to share myself with them, so that they cannot only understand me but also transgenderism in general.
That is half the reason I ended up officially coming out at school. I wanted to open myself up to those in the community so they would come in contact with the concept of transgenderism. Even if they do not fully accept me now, I have a chance to educate and impact people. If my impact softens the blow for future transgendered students, or for future transgendered people that come across the paths of those who know me, then I have succeeded. The same goes with my blog. I want to help educate people so that they can accept me and others like me.
Of course, for me to be respectful like this to those I come in contact with, I expect them to be respectful of me. I want to see people making honest progress in coming to understand and accept me. I want to see them getting to know the real me. For the most part, this strategy has really been helpful in coming out. Many friends, family members, blog readers, and people I have come in contact with have made major progress.
However there a worry of limiting myself and taking half acceptance over true acceptance. When do I ask that people be okay with me presenting how I feel comfortable? When do I ask people to use female pronouns to describe me? When do I expect people to be cool with understanding me as a female. I am often a bit of a pushover (as much as I love pushing buttons) I also love being nice and caring to those I come in contact with, and like to give them time, but at what point am I limiting myself for no reason?
It's a hard journey, a complex journey. One that I will likely travel the rest of my life...but I am excited to be on this journey. I am excited to make a difference. I am excited to be myself, and accept myself. I am excited for those who truly accept and care for me as I am.
I am excited for life.