I used to find it so easy to write.
I’m not saying anything that I ever produced was any good (in any empirical sense), just that it came easily and served its purpose – cathartic or otherwise.
I had the thought a while back to look and see when the last time I wrote anything positive was.
It was December 2019.
It’s now November 2020.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that to be myself and transition is to most likely “lose everything but gain my soul.”
Turns out there is Biblical precedent here.
Matthew 16:26 (NIV)
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Amidst all the heartache and pain I feel, all the fear I have…my soul pushes me forward.
My soul. The place where Allison lives.
Even now I have very little hope for my life. I fully expect to lose my job, lose my girlfriend and (I hate to say) probably take my own life. The loss of all hope is a terrible thing. Nothing matters.
Death would be so welcome.
So, in stark contrast to my usual nightmarish day-to-day I want to talk about the magic I have been able to experience.
I remember how things used to be. I’d mess around on FaceApp and try so desperately to envision myself as the woman I am. I would cry (along with everyone else) on Trans Twitter. I would cry at my reflection in the mirror. Wash-rinse-repeat.
Then one day I decided I was going to go out. Me. Allison.
I fully expected to be clocked by almost everyone who walked past me, maybe a hateful comment or two, possibly mean-spirited laughter at the tranny in their midst.
I cared not. A couple of my friends figured I’d be terrified.
Nope. I was fearless. I rocked metal in my car all the way into Fort Langley, where I had planned to walk around and sip hot chocolate and read at Wendell’s Café.
And I was fearless. I felt so perfectly corrected and marveled at what a wonderful non-event this was.
Like a miracle, I was blessed to feel what it was like to be a normal woman going about her business.
Never in a million years did I think I would “pass”.
Passing for an actual cisgender woman is the absolute biggest prize a trans woman could ever experience.
And yet, I passed.
I’m not crazy. I realize I don’t pass…but that day given the ambient social conditions and very little direct contact I actually felt what it was like to pass.
It was pure magic.
Walking across a crosswalk a woman stopped (yes in the middle of the crosswalk) to chat with me. No look of alarm on her face when she saw me, just a nice quick, normal social interaction. This was awesome.
As I sipped hot cholate and read a book at the café. A man was confused about how to get food etc. (COVID rules made online ordering the only way to get served). He stopped and asked me how it all worked. He looked me right in the eyes as I casually explained how it all worked. No reaction at all. I was just any woman at the café.
I finally finished my hot chocolate and figured I’d run some errands just to spend a lit more time out as myself.
I walked away from the café patio and turned the corner to walk back to my car.
I almost ran right into an old co-worker of mine. No reaction whatsoever.
As I walked up the street a biker rode up in the opposite direction on his Harley. His neck cranked almost all the way around exorcist-style as he checked me out.
It was all pretty surreal. I’m not into guys at all but this was awesome. I smiled from ear to ear. A biker just totally checked me out.
I could have died happy at that very moment.
I went grocery shopping and then walked around a local shopping mall. Nobody even gave me a second glance.
I never would have dreamed I would have experienced any of this…but I did. Magic.
Last week I showed up to my counselling session looking like myself. In the past I had plans to hang out with my girlfriend after counselling so would never dress properly. I didn’t want to make my girlfriend uncomfortable by looking like a woman.
The session went well and I decided to go walk around a bit. I went to get groceries again, and then just to extend my time out, went to the mall again.
Now to any non-trans person this may sound absurd/creepy but…
I found myself in the mall having to go to the washroom…badly. It was suddenly decision time.
I had never used the women’s washroom before. I knew I sure as hell wasn’t going into the men’s room.
One way or another I had to go. I surveyed the first washroom. No good. There was a lineup outside and that didn’t feel right. The second washroom had no line.
I walked right in. A couple of women and their daughters were there. I used the washroom, washed my hands at the mirror, checked my hair and walked right out. Nobody paid me any attention at all.
This was huge for me.
All the times I had nearly burst into tears having to use the wrong washroom. All the discomfort I have felt.
The following weekend I was in Save-on-Foods waiting in line for a cashier.
A woman waiting in line behind me complimented me on my boots and actually called me “ma’am” as she let me know that a cashier had opened up for me.
Getting “ma’amed” is a huge deal.
I had no idea I’d get to experience any of this.
Every time I have been myself it has been so tremendously affirming. A wonderful non-event.
From fantasizing about a reality that could never be to actually experiencing life like I dreamed of…even if for just a short time.
I’m so glad my soul has kept pushing me forward despite myself. I have experienced things I would have never imagined possible.
The biggest lesson for me though is transition offers no false-hope. My needs are simple and just being my authentic-self fixes so many things.
At the very least I can be at peace.