Braver than the binary?

‘It takes real courage to do what you’re doing.’

‘I’m so proud of you.’
‘You’re being true to yourself and that’s so brave.’

I’ve been told I’m brave quite a few times the last couple of years. Yes, this transition required me to quiet my trembling body and lay down on an operating table. It required me to look into my parents’ eyes and reveal I’m not who they wanted me to be. It still asks that I shake up the notions of gender for those in my life. But those actions don’t make me brave. Those choices bring me closer to an unexpected understanding. An enlightenment. An evolution of my soul.

I never felt female. So I did what I was told I changed my physical appearance and name to something less feminine. I did this because it was an easier option than exploring a space in the middle between female and male. I did this because even despite the risks of violence and discrimination, it was easier to survive in this world as a transman than someone without a pronoun.

But as I watch the walls of masculinity grow around me, I realize I’m not comfortable. This isn’t my home. I don’t belong among men.

I walk the world wrapped up in white, male privilege. It’s a safe space to be in and maybe that’s why I’m here because I haven’t felt safe most of my life. But I can’t deny that I feel the roar of femininity inside of me. I feel Natasha desperately clinging to everything she was and could be. I struggle with the realization that my gender no more transcends the binary than a non-transperson. I didn’t move beyond the binary. I just picked the other box.

But now, as I research and dissect the gender social structure I can feel myself let go of that comfort and safety of my masculinity. I’m ready to truly to be brave. I’m ready to give up the safety net of societal acceptance and embrace who I might really be beyond the binary.

*My experience is mine alone. Every transperson experiences their journey and transition differently. I speak only for myself and my convictions.

**Also, you can totally still tell me you’re proud of me and I’m brave… oh and beautiful.

***The working title for this piece, ‘Let’s deconstruct this bitch’

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