Oct 4, 2021
Artwork by Anna Burt
By Anna Burt
I did not discover my true identity as a trans woman until I was 49. I'm like a lot of others who transition later in life, though the story behind it is a personal one. Maybe it will make sense to someone. It was difficult for me to understand I was trans. Being primarily attracted to women it was easy to get washed down the stream of cis heterosexuality, though I always knew I was queer because of pan romantic tendencies. I was just closeted about the queer part.
But I never examined why I thought women were a lot more physically attractive in a way that was somehow nonsexual and purely emotional. It was because I actually wished I could be the women I found physically attractive. Attraction was actually gender envy in disguise. But it wasn't a negative envy. It was more like worship. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Because of that and a lot of other things, my life all made sense once I realized I am trans. The realization was the call to action and coming out, because I have always strived to be my authentic self. But coming out was in stages. At first I identified as non binary. It's not that I didn't desire to be a woman, I wasn't really feeling like it was something I had attained yet. It's a transition, not an instantaneous polymorph. At around 8 months on therapeutic estrogen, a light came on in my head that said it was time to throw out my entire wardrobe and replace it with girly stuff. For me, the decision to dress as a woman full time, both in public and private, was what coming out amounted to. My features are becoming more female very slowly after a year of estrogen, but I know I don't have to tell people I am trans at this stage. They can see it everywhere I go.
Even though I live in an area where many of the people are socially conservative, no one has gotten confrontational or ugly , though I do get stared at a lot. That's okay. I tell them they can take a picture if they want, it will last longer.
I want to close by saying I never had any chance of finding meaningful friendships or relationships in my life without being my true self. Any affirmation based on a false identity is a false affirmation. It is more valuable to have one true affirmation in the midst of 1000 micro aggressions than to have a 1001 false affirmations.
“I never had any chance of finding meaningful friendships or relationships in my life without being my true self.”