Thursday, April 5, 2018

Another Take on Me

Connie wrote into Cyrsti's Condo with a slightly different take on our "Me" post:

"Always Something There to Remind Me"

I walk along the city streets you used to walk along with me
And every step I take reminds me of just how we used to be
Well, how can I forget you, girl?
When there is always something there to remind me
Always something there to remind me.

As I've followed the path of my own transition, I have found myself, at times, at a place where I've felt totally myself. This is the place that has no label, other than ME; without the separation that the "T" causes. As in the lyrics of the song, I used to be so aware of my transgender status that I did feel as though I was walking next to myself. Over time, as my confidence and self-acceptance has increased, I have been able to meld who I was with what I was. In doing so, the "what" has almost disappeared from my mind, and the "who" has become much more clear to me.

How I'm perceived by others seems to require that they use a label for me, even if I've given up the label myself. Whether it's a face-to-face encounter, media report, or just a puzzled look from a passerby that I catch from the corner of my eye, there is always something there to remind me that the transgender label is still applied to me. The label serves to separate me, at best, into "used to be a man/now a woman." I imagine that there are many people who would refer to me, when talking to someone else, as "the transgender woman in the purple sweater" or, much worse, as "that t****y over there." A result of my increased self confidence, however, is that I now realize that what anyone else is thinking about me is really none of my business.

I see myself as an ambassador, rather than an advocate or activist, for the transgender community. With the awareness that I am being labelled "transgender" by others, it's my job (although it no longer feels like work to me) to just be the best ME I can be when interacting with the masses. My hope is that others will come to see me as the woman I am, and not how I came to be. As such, they may be more inclined to drop the label for others like me. Maybe I can change the lyrics to just "sometimes something there to remind me" one day, then."

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