We are strong

We’re often told how brave or courageous we are to transition. This false praise often comes from cis people, but even trans people tell this to each other sometimes and it’s total bullshit.

We know that there’s nothing brave about getting away from something that tears you apart from the inside fiber by fiber. There’s nothing courageous about choosing to live over choosing to die – that’s normal and healthy.

Transition is a rational response to the irrational situation of dysphoria, and we don’t transition because we’re brave or courageous to battle internal demons or push back against institutionalized transmisogyny; we transition because we’re strong. We might have been afraid to transition, which is what creates the air of bravery when we do, but we know in our hearts that we started to transition when we felt strong enough to begin.

We reach a point where we simply cannot carry the multiple, often emotionally crushing burdens of hiding in plain sight, of feeling torn, of having unmet needs, of loneliness, and of unhappiness any more. This does not mean that those who do not transition are weak. On the contrary.

We are all diamond-strong to put off transition even for a minute, yet every gem has its flaws and can be split. Some need to split many times before they are ready to transition while others chafe at the strains sooner and begin to address them right away.

Carrying these loads is exhausting and for some it is too much. For those who shatter, our grief is that the weight set upon them was too great, not that they could not carry it.

We are strong, every one of us, whether we show it to the world or not. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in coming out, community, observations, opinion, random, self-acceptance, transition and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to We are strong

  1. I’m not trans. I have a trans child. A week or so ago I met a mother who had birthed a child with multiple disabilities. After six years, the child died. We found ourselves talking about the word, ‘brave’. We both rejected it, on the grounds that there’s no choice in how we parent: we do what we have to do.
    For trans folk … I understand the point you’re making. What it brings most to mind for me are the people I met during a short stint in a psychiatric hospital. Several were have ECT (not me). They all said, This is my last chance but I had to try.
    It struck me at the time (and still does) as the bravest thing I’d ever heard. At that point, for those souls, it would have been easier to die. There was something inside them, though, that kept reaching towards life, matter what.
    So, from the outside looking in, it would seem to me that being born trans gives you a few options, but they’re all difficult. To declare you identify & to live openly in the world seems to me to be declaring aliveness & the wonder of existing as you are.
    As you say, that must take tremendous strength. In my own blog I use the word ‘guts’. Trite or not, I think that still adds up to being brave, or, at the very least,
    a conquering of fear.


    • cistotrans says:

      Hi, thanks for stopping by and your thoughtful comment!

      Pushing past the fear is an important step of self-actualization when you’re trans. At least it has been for me and for many others that I know of.

      The nuance I think that didn’t come out well was that cis people tend to project bravery on trans people because they see them trying to be themselves even when cis people are often the reason trans people live in fear. It’s a bit like an abuser telling the person they’ve been abusing that they were brave to run away or leave them. There’s definitely some bravery there, but the fundamental emotion is to move towards relief from the dysphoria and that generally only happens when a trans person feels they’re strong enough to do so.

      I hope that makes sense, and I do appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry for the typos- writing in the car on my phone – but did want to respond to your wonderful post. Thanks for writing it.


  3. Pingback: Dear friends | Becoming Me

  4. shreyakhetan says:

    Thanks for sharing this . This is very inspiring !

    Liked by 1 person

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