Editorial note: I wrote this as a journal entry in the spring of 2019, and it started a series of writings that eventually became a blog project. I've long enjoyed the practice of sharing my journaling openly and publicly - of "learning out loud"; I first started sharing this particular series later in the fall of 2019. Some three years later, I'm migrating it over to a new platform, but the content remains intact and largely unedited from my original, raw notes.
My journey has been long, and it continues; much has changed along the way. This is the recounting of my path. I hope that it may become a part of your survival guide.
Trans Mission Log: Sunday, April 28, 2019
I think it's finally becoming unavoidably clear that I need to write this shit down. The excuses don't matter and the benefits are too numerous and substantial to ignore. So here we are.
It's been about four months since I really started to think about all this, and maybe three or so since I actually began to appreciate any of it. Maybe a month and a half tops since I've really started leaning into the whole thing. Those months are complicated and painful in their own ways but not really the point of what I want to say (for now).
I have so many feelings about this. It explains everything, and creates so many new questions. It feels so right and certain and just meant to be that I genuinely have no other experiences that come close to just fitting me so completely and perfectly. I've never felt so sure of anything in my life, and yet that very security is creating an entirely new place of vulnerability and heartache in me.
Four months ago, I started to really try to understand gender identity - and, really, to understand me. Nonbinary is a pretty general-purpose label but it immediately felt useful. Shortly after that I ran across the idea of gender fluidity, and that was like the second half of the puzzle. The rest has really been an exercise in figuring out the implications.
Thirty-two years had gone by, filled with tiny moments where I somehow perceived that I am not male, and then proceeded to brush aside the feeling and go on living as if I were. I can't pretend to really understand how it works, but somewhere towards the end of 2018, I crossed whatever magical threshold I needed to, and that key idea of gender identity finally dropped into place… and I will never go back.
Everything funneled into that tiny little moment in time when I finally comprehended that I'm trans, and now like a rebounding nova, everything is exploding outwards again into an entire universe of Who The Fuck Knows Anything Anymore. I've been increasingly excited about being a woman, even if it's still agonizingly hard to even type the words. But I know, now, why that is - I'm not scared of it being true. I'm scared of it being taken away.
It's easier to deal with losing something if you never really let yourself have it at all.
I'm terrified of living with the knowledge that I am genderfluid. It's already becoming hard to bear. I spent last week just cuddled up in me being a woman, dreaming of what could be, basking in the indescribable joy and freedom of little moments of affirmation, stealing minute slices of daily routine in which to defy gender normativity, even if only I could see. For a beautiful moment, I could actually say that my name is Amelia and feel proud and confoundingly lovely when someone else simply said hello.
Then it all went away, unexpectedly, and for the past two days I've had no idea who the fuck I am. I don't want to be this, whatever it is, and I hurt for the certainty and safety and hope of being her. I realized, yesterday, that the whole sensation is familiar. I've been denied stability for my entire life. The one place I've been able to find certainty is in myself. Being [mis]diagnosed with bipolar disorder was a devastating setback in that regard. And now, so is being genderfluid.
I just wanted to trust something, and I feel like a fool for trusting myself. I know it's not really like that. I know that it's alright and I will thrive in this, somehow. But for the moment, it still hurts. Bad.
So that's the backstory, the ponderous drivel that had to get slopped everywhere before I could hit what I really want to say.
I started this because I need to leave a permanent record someplace of what I'm about to write. This is important.
Hi. I need you to understand something. I know that you are the one that needs to hear this, even if I don't know exactly what to call you. Even if you don't know what to call you. No matter who's there, no matter what has happened, no matter where life is going, I love you. Nothing can ever, ever change that.
I love you forever. I love Amelia, and I love whoever else the world may see, or who they never can. I love you because you deserve to be loved, and you deserve to have something that can always be trusted - something from inside. You can always trust that you deserve to be loved. And you can always trust that I love you.