After I had an epiphany and understood fully “I am transgender”, there was only one way: forward. Continuing in the wrong body was never an option.
I was scared but determined.
Then, I began telling people about my situation:
“I’m actually a man stuck in a female body. I’ve started hormone therapy, so you’ll see my body change over the next few months. And, from now on, can you please call me Liam instead of Stefanie?”
Each time I addressed one of my family, friends, and work mates, the reactions were very similar.
“Ah, I’ve always wondered if you weren’t in fact a boy,” my dad said.
“I’m not surprised. It’s kind of obvious,” my boss said.
“Liam? How on earth do I pronounce that? Couldn’t you have found something easier?” the work mate I believed to be the most conservative asked with a twinkle in his eye.
“I’ve always known,” my professor at the Art Academy said, accompanying his statement with a strong, friendly pat on the shoulder that almost knocked me over.
The list of positive encounters continues indefinitely.
Fact is, those who love us and care about us, often know long before we ourselves know or are ready to “come out”. They know in their hearts.
During our lifetime there are many opportunities to come out and stand up for who we are and what we believe in – be it to let the world know about our LGBT identity, a political belief, or a philosophical standpoint.
Others might already know us well enough so maybe it needn’t be said at all, but we need to hear the words out loud, need to feel and savour those letters rolling around our tongue like a well-preserved bottle of red wine.
We need to proclaim for ourselves and the world, “This I me. This is who I choose to be. This is who I am born to be. I accept and love myself just as I am.”