My transition has been a roller coaster and I realized last night that the ride so far has been pretty darn close to the Gartner Hype Cycle, so I took a crack at visualizing it:
Once I realized I was trans, my expectations were low. I didn’t know what to do with it and it felt like I was stuck in a place I could never escape. It was a dark place and I spent increasing amounts of energy trying to deny or hide I was trans.
Once I realized I had to get out of that hole and get on with deciding to transition, it felt like a rocket ride up, up, up, until I hit the point of maximum expectations, where I thought everything was going to be great. I could do this! I could be myself! All! The! Time! It was going to be and was great!
Transition came and went and then, like a sugar high wearing off, reality set in. Divorce. Kids shuttling between houses. Misgenderings. Never-ending name change hoops. Dating while trans. Why can’t I find jeans that fit me? Self-doubt crept in. Why did I blow up my life? Will I ever find someone to be with again? This sucks. I was deep down in the trough of disillusionment.
But slowly, things got and are getting better. I still have moments, hours, or even days where things feel like they have in the past and I cycle through the whole experience all over. I think I’ll likely have the same ride around surgery.
My life isn’t perfect, not by a country mile, but after almost five years of continuous HRT, three years of living my life as myself, and all of the emotional ups and downs to get to where I am today, things feel mostly stable. I feel like I’m approaching a realistic version of my life where most of the peaks and dips around transition are behind me.
I’m on Twitter @cistotrans
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