Does it take “courage” to be your true self?
It depends…for some appear to be naturally in full flight of being themselves…perhaps in what society refers to as “normal”.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
~ Nelson Mandela
Back in 2003, my “coming out” as lesbian was…well one day my colleagues and some friends thought I was “normal”, the next I wasn’t…and I didn’t care what people thought. I was still “me”. In my mind the only change was my partner was female…it was “natural, normal” to me…I had overcome the fear…likely more so the fact that NZ is often at the forefront of significant changes…and standing up, being heard.
Then I was with EY…I remember the day after I brought my girlfriend along to a work quiz night at a local pub…one of the partners said to me how brave I was…I guess it was in the sense that I didn’t give a shit what the “ole boys network” thought. Heck never had…
Remembering “Pete”, a name I hadn’t really thought about in decades really came to the forefront of my mind…it was like an “illumination” in my heart…sounded so right when I spoke it aloud to a friend…a random conversation and it was a lightning bolt…the clarity of suddenly knowing who I am…not Marianne…I am and have since I was around 4 (my earliest memory) been Pete. And no, not “Peter”.
Memories of pre pubescent years “playing” with a friend; the innocence of being a child…it all seem quite natural…I naturally felt I was a boy…my whole mindset was always on being a boy.
Later, I recalled being caught and the significance of that event. I closed off “Pete”…to feel…to be…well that was all wrong, a sin…and I tried being a girl…
It wasn’t so bad…I have been always nonplussed about my breasts…they are “there” but aren’t so big to bother me…B cup though so slightly more than a handful…parents asked if I was a lesbian when I was about 14/15…I adamantly said no. Ha…was terrified that being a lesbian meant being incredibly unhappy or acted more butch than guys…well that had been my exposure as it were to lesbians plus the stereotypes.
First boyfriend at 15…he was 19…when he French kissed me I said yuk. Nah didn’t see him much after that…then 16 I got the hang of this kissing lark…virginity gone at 17 1/2…with that guy 7.5 yrs though (some brief periods split)…then was pretty much checking out both sides…was I Bi I thought…still women did it more for me…in all aspects…then alas met the psycho…with him for 8…see it’s not true about Saggis…we can commit…perhaps not wisely in wonderful hindsight. Then my first girlfriend…4 yrs…my last was 4 yrs too…and on my own the past 2.5 years…some fleeting dalliances…
I am Pete…a man…I’d like to believe that I am a good man (I will always strive to be a better person) and will be outwardly as I my appearance becomes more masculine.
As I made sense of my memories…and it didn’t become clearer for some months later, the magnitude of the “shift” at times overwhelming that I consciously played devils advocate and also occupied my mind as best I could…fear was hurdle…even now, 2013…with all the great strides made in the gay/lesbian arena…there remains a gap even between LGBT, let alone the “mainstream”.
My first girlfriend’s sister is MtF (statistically the higher number than FtM) past 30 yrs now. To me she was a woman from day one. End of. I had never before then meet someone who had changed to be who they always were inside.
I digress…over the past 2.5 years I have worked on myself both mentally, physically and spiritually…really worked through past events that had left a scar deep in my core. I have been blessed to meet (both online and in person) beautiful souls whom I love and respect…they taught me much…helped me see the lessons I needed to learn…I know now that I needed to experience this so that my true self would be able to surface…over this period I also have experience a few depressive periods brought on by past events not healed and then later emotional and financial hardships…remembering me, Pete ( yeah I love my name), I awake with a smile…a feeling deep within of happiness, even though there still remains the stresses (work, money) I know deep down that I will get through this and will be all that I can be.
“Courage” is overcoming fear…so yeah I have in my life and now…I am once again having the courage to push past fears and just be.
My first appointment with the trans clinic is 31 January. I was so ecstatic receiving that call…second step on my journey to show the world “Pete”!