Before I decide to tell the world I was a transgender woman I was afraid of being labeled. But even more than that I was really afraid that once I became trans, that is all I would be to people. I wouldn’t be that person they went to high school with who became a journalist. I wouldn’t be a former underground hip hop producer. I would cease to be a gamer or toy collector. All of who I am would be erased by one word, trans.
I have to admit my values have changed since coming out. Partially as I start seeing how the world is not designed to accommodate trans people to the way our very existence is used to further the political agendas of both mainstream political parties.
During this time of discovery I have had time to reflect. As such I am learning things about myself I never expected. I want to talk a little about how my interests are starting to reflect my new values. Some of this will reinforce the stereotype of a bitter, angry man-hating lesbian. No matter where I go the more I learn about myself the more likely I will someday achieve my goal of becoming a whole person.
There have been quite a few surprises along the way. For example I am discovering I am more in tune to nature than I previously believed. I have always been fascinated by technology and human scientific progress. Yet now I am finding myself strangely drawn to flowers, plants, trees, birds, animals and even insects, in ways I never was before. This wasn’t too far off from my previous interest in gardening or even my interest in environmental issues. It wasn’t a surprise that my growing spirituality would lead me down a path back towards the magic I longed to practice in my youth. In many ways I have held onto the magical innocence of childhood as much as I can.
One area my changing values did take me by surprise was in the realm of insects. Again, when I was a kid I actually loved playing with bugs and yes that even included spiders. You see my so-called arachnophobia started out as a cover. It was a thing I pretended to have because it gave me something I could cling to. I was desperate to be noticed so screaming at the sight of a spider seamed like a way to get attention and for certain people to chastise me into “growing up” or whatever version of that phrase they used. As time went on I began to read more science fiction and horror books that often featured spiders as monsters. Recently I discovered I am starting to get to a point where I am no longer afraid of bugs but returning to my child like state of fascination with them. More likely it is I am gaining an appreciation for all forms of life as I age. But it has led me to a deeper spiritual existence.
Another thing that took me by surprise was my desire to own a lava lamp and burn candles. The candles I figured had some connection to our days camping in the woods but I always hated lava lamps. During a recent discussion with a friend of mine my newfound interest in these blurted out rather unexpectedly. At first I chalked it up to my quirky habit of being annoying on purpose. It’s a gift I have. But once I was inside the Target store shopping for candles and other witch supplies I spotted a lava lamp I couldn’t live without. I decided this was something I no longer despised but now admired.
Along the way I knew I would put old passions away. I never expected to lose interest in Nintendo but here I sit not even giving them much thought. Before I quite often obsessed over what they were doing, or had done in the past. Not anymore. I find myself more interested in exploring the world of Playstation or getting into tabletop gaming. I am currently knee deep in X-Wing at the moment but I am certainly eyeballing Warhammer. I even picked up some D&D miniatures during my most recent venture into the local comic book store.
The point is as I continue to transition into a woman I am absolutely discovering things about myself I never expected. Some of the things are pleasant surprises. Others are difficult to fathom but welcome curiosities nonetheless. I haven’t quite gotten to the point of going full vegan but I can see myself being more open to that than ever before. In a lot of ways I feel like trying everything new even things I previously decided I wasn’t into. This rediscovery is the best part of transitioning. I welcome whatever new thing I learn next.