In the year that followed my coming out, I set new rules for myself. No longer was I willing to allow the words and/or expectations of others to define Me. And with this decision my walls came down, my guarded defenses were no longer needed, and I allowed life to flow through me.
I had always been a pretty easy-going person, and got along with most people. But now for the first time, the world was seeing Me -- 100% unguarded, instead of only the fragments I had previously made visible.
Like a whirling dervish tasting life unobstructed for the first time, I couldn’t get enough. I fearlessly went out to meet the world -- to bars, restaurants, clubs, shows, events in the mainstream, gay and trans-venues alike. I even traveled to Hollywood for a mainstream poetry convention where I was transgirl amidst 1,500 regular folks!
I had become a free-spirit; spontaneous and joyful as the woman I felt myself to be. I said what I felt, and meant what I said. The honesty of it all was intoxicating; all those years of lying to protect my dirty little secret was no longer necessary. The closet door was open and my energy was freed up to enjoy people, places and life.
Emerging from behind the mask of a life not truly mine, yet inadvertently one of my own design, I stood naked before the world, refreshed and unafraid. I was confronted with the truth of Me as only I knew it, while others could only look on with bemused wonderment, concern or disdain.Navigating the labyrinth of meanings, however, was at first confusing: the Internet was filling up daily with different points of view, different descriptions about what being transgender was, that the result was a lot of myths, and misinformation. Today party lines have gained traction, narrowing the ideas to a select few, although that hasn't stopped the in-fighting of ideologies, mostly between transsexuals and everyone else.
When is all said and done however, we're all just people. Our bodies are merely the taxi that carries Us around. Its what we do, say, and think that defines us; not the words or perceptions of others. And perhaps that is what we should focus our energies on: who we are, not how we look.