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Shifting identities

June 2003

Why is it that I can't sleep some nights? Sometimes it comes so easily, other nights I feel like I could lay awake in bed for days.

Tonight I got up and read through old journal entries about family and change and who I am. It is a lot to remember. I am grateful for the writing because those are all parts of me that I never want to let too far out of my reach.

I haven't written like that in a long time. It's not that I have ever been an exceptionally strong writer, but sometimes when things come together in just the right way, it flows. I wonder what is keeping the words from coming these days. Too much energy going to other places, too little time spent focusing on what is real in my life, maybe.

I have experienced the world in so many different ways. None of them are any less true or honest than the others, because they were all my realities at the time. Six year old tom-boy, sixteen year old jock girl, eighteen year old dyke, butch, trannyboy, transguy... man? All of those things are parts of me.

A lot of the time, now, I don't know what I am feeling. I am changing, that much I am sure of. And in the middle of this change I feel myself holding on to something in the past, ideals I had set up for myself, and I don't quite understand why. Echoes of "I will always be proud to be trans... I will always be queer, first... I will never need bottom surgery... I will only change physically, not emotionally..." What does it all mean? I feel myself moving further away from these things. Maybe it is just another change in the seasons of my life. Or are the voices coming through so strongly now as a reminder to be true to myself in this period of change, when it might be easier to slip into something else?

The truth is, I don't know. But I'm having a hard time letting go of who I have been, even though what I am feeling inside is pointing in some other direction. I have fought so hard, and for so long, to make my space in the world. I have been aware of every move I've made, and what it all means, because I've had to be. I don't know whether to fight now to stay in that space or if it was just an experience I was meant to go through, like so many other things along the way, on my path to somewhere else.

When I picture where I may be five years from now, I am shocked by how foreign it seems. But when I think of where I was five years ago, I laugh at the difference and find only comfort in where I am now.

Here's to finding that same sense of peace in the future.

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August 2005

I just spent some time reading back through some older writings and journal entries. It feels good to know that with as much external change as I've gone through in the past 4 or 5 years, my thoughts about identity and my expectations for myself have remained almost entirely consistent. The way I experience the world now is completely different, and along with that the ways in which I'm able to express my identities have very much changed, but that hasn't made them less real for me personally.

Having a strong sense of self has helped me so much throughout this transition. I've been able to understand what have been core truths for me, and I've been able to articulate and stand by those things whether they've been supported or challenged. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I am grateful for having had to assert and defend myself so often, especially when it's come to dealing with family and doctors and the like, but I do think it's forced me to be more honest with myself than I would have been otherwise and I appreciate that.

The regrets I have revolve around the times I've been selfish and haven't recognized the importance of the support I get from the people who care about me. This has been especially true of my relationships with my partners when I was first coming out, when I started testosterone, and when I had chest surgery. I don't know for sure whether it would have been possible for me to be less self-centered than I was at those times, but in retrospect I know I took so much for granted and didn't make equal space to support them and the changes they were experiencing along side me.

I don't know why I feel motivated to write about this tonight, or where I expected to end up with this entry. It's not something I fixate on as much as I used to, though I wouldn't go so far as to say I don't think about it often. I want to think about it. I want to understand as much as I can about what it all means to me because I want to make sure I am doing the right things for the right reasons. I want to remember how and why I got to be where I am today, not take it for granted or forget about the lessons I've learned along the way. I want to be able to step into the shoes I wore six years ago and be proud of who I am today.

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