ARTIST, PAINTER, WOODLAND TREE LOVER, WIND LISTENER, RAVEN TALKER.
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I’m not sure this will be helpful but I think it might. It was written by my daughter Kora a while ago and some how helped me to see the answer is yes to the question I hear some parents asking… “transitioning is a good thing?”
… click here to continue reading
Thank you for sharing that. And please thank Kora for writing and being willing to share something so heartfelt and vulnerable. (Also, please give her a hug for me, I miss her.)
Does it speak for all adult trans women in transition? In my personal experience plus what I know from talking to many many trans women, that is a very common, but not universal, feeling. With time it also develops and changes.
Earlier in my transition I felt that same feeling so keenly. It was so inviting and so painful to imagine what my life had been like if I’d been raised as a girl. I imagined all the things my mom would have shared with me and taught me. I imagined doing all the things I so wanted to do then but could never ever ask for.
But, two things happened with time that made those aches into not entirely unpleasant “what ifs”. First, as I was welcomed into women’s spaces and began to widen my circle of female friends I learned that so many cis gender women have those same feelings of loss and missing out from this idea of wisdom and skills that their mothers never shared with them either. I think we have a myth in our culture, or perhaps a real but unrealistically magnified, of a link between mother and daughter that is wholly different from the link between other gender mixes of parent and child. Many trans women glorify that connection in our heads. We mystify and idealize it, but I’ve found that it exists for very few cis gender women.
The second thing that happened was that I started to “grow up” as a woman. Transitioning can be much like experiencing another childhood and/or adolescence. I started to see the real benefits of my gained comfort and confidence in my identity. Something that was absent when I was spending all my energy trying to pretend to be a boy/man. I’ve made more friends than I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve been called charismatic and given compliments on how I make people feel comfortable and welcome. I realized I love getting in front of a group and speaking or performing. And for the first time in my life I’ve started to be proud of the person that I am.
A question that is often brought up in trans circles is, “If there was a pill or spell that would make you cis gender and give you all the experiences of growing up in the gender you know you are, would you take it?” The most obvious answer for most is yes. But, I’ve come to realize that my answer would be a confident, “No, thank you.” If I had grown up a cis gender woman I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t so easily be able to see past the veil of gender roles. I wouldn’t so easily be able to empathize with other marginalized people. I wouldn’t have the same friends, the same charisma, the same pride of the woman I am today. And I have been able to forge a bond of mother and daughter with my mom that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
You said you struggle with whether the difficulty and pain of transitioning is worth it. For me, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Thank you Jennifer for your response. It gave me chills reading it because it is so much what I hope Kora will come to and honesty everyday I see that growing. Your response is beautifully written and so appreciated. ❤ Alison
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