Life has really ramped up lately for me. It seems, in fact, that my life has taken a route of it's own and is driving me forward rather than the other way around. I find myself amidst opportunities which are either presenting themselves by chance or through others who are offering them to me and I find myself surrounded more and more, by supportive women who have made a huge positive impact in my life as a woman. Let me expand just a little on these and put them all in the context of what is transpiring and what it perhaps means.
Opportunities: In the past year alone, I have been asked to co-chair the state chapter of a nationally recognized support organization, PFLAG and to help in the efforts to bring about support to families, parents and children who either are or who support someone who is GLBT. Being able to make a difference through regular meetings we host or in the many speaking engagements I find myself a part of at both schools and churches is such a positive experience to me personally. It lightens my heart to be able to give of my own experiences and to lend an ear to help others as I can. If I can help one person, one child from having to deal with the decades of repression I faced for myself, and to avoid the potential destruction of their own life in the process, then it becomes worth every minute of my own time.
I continue to be an active member on the steering committee of TransGender New Hampshire and hope to continue to be a part of some of the amazing positive changes this group has helped to realize within the state for equality and human rights. Having the chance last year to speak before the state representatives and to receive such warm feedback through personal interactions with many of them later was one of the highlights of my entire year. So many had never really met and spoken with someone who is transgender and they told me how much they learned through our presentations that day. That day meant a LOT to me... more than may be imaginable. Being asked after the presentation by several of the representatives to consider being backed by them and to run for an open seat as a state representative was just such an affirming and uplifting experience, not only as a person but as an accepted woman.
Inclusions: This year has been a huge one for me personally as a woman. Somehow I seem to have unknowingly "arrived" as a woman in the greater world. I know who I have always been my entire life but it was well hidden behind the charade and the act I played in a theatrical presentation I gave for the benefit of everyone else. Allowing myself to "be myself" and to drop the pretenses that were never really convincing in playing a male were the harbinger of something wondrous that occurred in my life. I began to find in this past year that I have made so many wonderful cis-gender (non-trans) women friends and to find myself within in an ever growing and interconnected circle of sisters who have reached out to me and accepted me as one of their own. It was not something I asked for or pushed my way into but rather it was something which evolved of it's own as part of due course in the maturation of my life as a woman.
I cannot tell you how incredibly wonderful it is to be a part of such a circle. It is, at once, both affirming to my inner self as much as it is a blessing to be able to share with others in ways I never could relate to in playing a male. It is now that I find myself able to listen and console, share and express, in ways I always yearned to and never found myself able to as a male....not because I couldn't but because men either just didn't understand how to relate or simply were not interested or able to communicate with me on the level I needed. The relationships have been amazing with my women friends and a night out with them to share stories about life and love, of hopes and dreams, and of tears and sadness are aspects which not even the best of therapists could match in comparison. I've had more women reach out to offer their support and kindness in this past year, then I have in my entire life ever. Although we may come and go our separate ways at times, we never seem to forget each other and we are always there as just an email or phone call away.
In all honesty, I can't think of many things better about being a woman than the interconnectedness which women share with each other. Even amidst a maelstrom of turbulence, both familial and relational, this gift is a shining light of connectedness to something much larger that I am only now just beginning to understand and behold.