Undrowned


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Celebrations

So, today is my birthday, my first as Miranda—three months into transition.  I’m trying to sort my thoughts out, but it’s difficult process right now.

All my birthdays have been real—my age attests to that.  But this birthday seems more real than the others.  Perhaps it’s because I’m not just marking time anymore.  I don’t feel as if my life is ticking down to the inevitable bad, messed-up end.  This was a birthday to celebrate.  This was a birthday that has a future in it.

My life life has been set into motion…and not by some random, external circumstance.  This life, so unexpected, exists because Miranda exists.  It comes from within.

This life has hope.  This is truly a time of being born.

So, today I celebrate my birthday for the first time…as me.  That doesn’t mean I’m not afraid of the future.  Fear still exists.  Anxiety still exists.  Who knows what kind of emotional crash waits for me around  the next corner?

But this birthday has surprised me with one really great gift….

Resilience.

And for that, I celebrate.


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Of Hormones And Age

Perhaps it’s a generation’s unease with technology, and social media in particular, but the Internet is not exactly boiling over with the voices of older transgender folk. Since my nieces consider anyone over 30 to be “really, really old”, I’ll just say that I’m over 30. Way over 30. By many, many miles!

For years, I avoided stamping the universe with my public presence on the Internet. But now I am on Twitter, Instagram, and…I am embarrassed to say…Facebook. I would like to believe I use these services creatively and with a certain degree of panache. And for the most part, I do. But I’m equally guilty of posting my share of cat photos, too.

When I first began researching the possibility of transitioning at my age (with one heart-attack already embedded in my medical chart), Google yielded…well, not so much. Except for blood clots. Lots and lots of info about blood clots.

But I didn’t need (or want) anymore stories on the statistical probabilities of age+hormones+risk. Due to the stent already in lodged in my one of my cardiovascular arteries, I was well aware of all the associated health risks.

I just desperately needed to hear the personal accounts of people transitioning at my age. I needed to read stories from actual souls, and not just from research papers (although the straight dope should never be ignored–my first piece of advice to my trans sisters and brothers). I needed the calm voice of someone who had been there and done that.

But most transgender people (most people, period) on Twitter and Facebook are under 30. The ones I follow who happen to be over 30? They consider themselves old-timers and veterans. Curse them!

And yet, I’ve learned a great deal from these young people in this great, new age of possibilities. Their stories have not only inspired me, but they’ve educated me in so many areas of transitioning. Especially how to deal with the day-to-day struggles of living in a society that is largely uncomfortable with non-conformity. But still, it is nice to have someone your age to talk to….

One of my hopes for this blog is to reach older people who are considering transitioning. I’d like to be a helpful voice in the wilderness, if I can.

For now, at the very beginning, the best I can do is to translate my personal experience into something more meaningful than mere bio.

One caveat. I have lived a most chaotic and yet insular life, psychologically-speaking. I am not your ordinary trans person. But, then again, neither are you.


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A Voice

It’s odd.  I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I’ve always found it hard to write in my own voice.  As myself.  Poetry, Fiction, commentary–these genres were infinitely easier than writing a mere letter to someone.  That seemed too personal.  The task made me uneasy and anxious.  As much as a simple thank-you note could involve dozens of drafts and hair-pulling fits of exasperation.

But since beginning my transition, I’ve found a voice.  I don’t think it’s a new voice.  Rather, it’s a voice long buried by fear and anxiety.  Fear of saying the wrong thing.  Fear of being misunderstood.  And fear of emotion.

It’s my real voice.  A voice yearning to express itself after years of silence.

It’s still unsure of itself, sometimes.  Halting here and there.  But it flows from my imagination without the restraints of timid self-censorship.

My voice is not afraid anymore.