Being One's True Self

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.”

View Art by Anna Burt

accompanied by the artist’s commentary

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