What on earth am I on about?
Or perhaps you have a pretty good idea what I might be getting at.
In the past few weeks I have noticed something that, until now, I never realised was a problem. Well… perhaps not a problem, but something I could do without.
So, what is it? Well quite simply, I have been outing myself. Letting on in some way, through conversation, that I am trans or that being trans is an important part of my existence and identity.
I skirt around these statements carefully, I don’t want to come across in the wrong way. I am proud to be trans and don’t see why that would ever change. What I’m getting at is that the ‘me being trans’ subject isn’t one that needs to be part of as many interactions as I have brought it to.
Of course it will always be a prominent part of my life, but I don’t need to lean on it to justify or clarify myself. I should be quite happy being Amber, digital designer when talking to colleagues; or Amber, fellow attendee of RockFit and fan of rock and metal bands when I’m at a RockFit class.
Trans is what I am, but it not WHO I am.
Delving a little deeper into the psychology of this (in my normal habit of psychoanalysing myself) the tendency to highlight me being trans probably stems from the common narrative for many trans people, which sees the person being commended for being ‘so brave’ and ‘should be proud’ of coming out and living this transgender life.
Which is not a bad narrative, it promotes pride, breeds confidence and can be a crucial stepping stone towards a somewhat uncertain future.
However, I feel like I have been a little stuck on this step for a little while, fearing the uncertain future and clinging to ‘I am brave and I’m proud to be trans’ as comfort blanket. This is safe, my friends tell me this a good thing to be proud of and until I know where I’m going next I can hold onto this and be ok.
For me, I think it’s time to move on from this attachment (I won’t ever hide that I’m trans, it’s a beautiful and sensationally wonderful thing to be). I want to be known for the WHO not the WHAT, I have a character and a personality. I have interests, hobbies and achievements.
I’m letting go of my comfort blanket and trusting that WHO I am is enough.