The good that enters, the bad that lingers

October 6, 2013

I write a lot about transgender issues. As a trans woman, this comes somewhat naturally. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the general direction some of my writing has taken, and I think I’ve neglected a core, personal aspect of the story of my own transition, largely out of fear that this particular view may be taken out of context or misinterpreted: sometimes things still suck.

I try to present my life as one that has improved as a result of radical physical and social change. I’ve long feared that allusion to negative feelings or personal disappointments will lead others to misinterpret my position, leading to suggestions that I somehow regret the steps I’ve taken in my transition.

I don’t regret a thing.

I worry that if I present the past year of my life in anything other than a sunny wordscape, that I might discourage someone facing similar struggles with their gender from taking steps necessary to give themselves peace of mind and comfort in body. Please know this isn’t my intent.

Still, I’ve found that even once the fog of dysphoria has lifted, issues that may have hidden below the surface, hidden within a thick cloud of gender issues, remain. 

For me, these issues consist of intense social anxiety, panic attacks, and acute depression. I’m not afraid to admit that these are all conditions I still struggle with to date. I manage these issues through medication and breathing exercises.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is this: transition isn’t a panacea for the underlying issues that exist in your life. This only goes to show that we are more than our trans status. We are humans with complex identities. Solving these problems, managing these problems one issue at a time, is sometimes all we can do.

So be yourself, fight your demons, and don’t get discouraged if you can’t fix everything with one adjustment. This is life, and it’s painful and beautiful; complex and maddening, all at once.


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