We don't talk about grief as much as we probably need to. I certainly have had a hard time wanting to see how much grief occupies the same space as love. I didn't want them to meet, to touch, to come face to face because if I let one in, I felt like I couldn't hold anything else. And I would break.
For Transgender Awareness Week coming up, I need to talk about grief, because yes, I was losing, longing and feeling so lost.
And also, I needed love. We all do.
I needed to lose: The sense of discomfort I lived with just under my skin that I couldn't name. The anxious scramble to explain myself TO myself and then have enough energy to face the people staring me down, wanting answers in the way that made them most comfortable.
I needed to long for: my wholeness I knew lived in me somewhere as my meaning and purpose became more clear as I found my footing, gaining enough emotional agility enough to stand up when it was clear the world tolerated my existence.
I needed to feel lost: To reorient my entire being; my social, emotional, physical world...to pull and push the needle until it felt like "home".
I believed it existed. I still do. I believe it exists.
I know you have been here too. It just comes in a different form. Maybe you're trans, maybe you're not.
But how did I get here?
💗 It was my authentic self that was there the night I lay on the floor in the dark staring at the Aspen trees in my backyard, wondering the infinite paths their roots. Where else I can go too?
💙 It was my transgender nonbinary heart beating and lungs breathing when I told myself I couldn't see anything, be anything, understand anything, and didn't know anything.
♥ It was grief and love shaking hands, both saying "I'm here".
It was a perfect recipe--> for joy and authenticity.
I know you have grieved too. When one person transitions, everyone transitions. We change in physical change around others. It's how we're wired.
We live in a world that makes it more challenging for transgender and nonbinary people to transition yet cisgender people are transitioning all the time. It just looks different.
When I began to embark on certain aspects of my transition as a transgender and nonbinary human like:
(❗ Important to note not every trans person chooses or needs to do these things to validate their existence)
💉 Gender-affirming hormone therapy
📛 Legally changing my name
📣 Announcing my they/them non-binary pronouns
👨👦 Telling my kids they could still call me "Mom"
📨 Having to get a new email
🚗 A new driver's license
With every move, I re-humanized, re-invigorated myself.
🕯 I surrendered and unraveled into the person I thought I was was running from who miles ahead of me, loving me through every stumble in my attempts to run.
I had to FEEL it and what did I find? It was the love that took up the most space.
Grief, like gender, expands in all directions.
Love, like gender, expands in all directions.