I think one of the reasons I started transiness is because I never wanted people to suffer the way I did, the way I held inside who I was at great personal expense – for the sake of a society that was not prepared to accept me. When I first went to a support group, one of my first reactions was – oh god, there are others who feel the same way. I thought I was mad. I no longer felt alone in my struggle to keep myself hidden. When I came out I cried for a week. I cried for all those times I kept myself at bay, I cried for that girl, that teenager, that young adult forced to behave and act in a way she was not comfortable with. I cried at her despair with her body.
It’s a long struggle that many transsexual women I have talked with share. And it is by talking with other trans people that I realised how beautiful they are. I realised how they kept themselves at bay, and how difficult it was for them. I cried for my friends and their suffering. Many people who suffer go on to help others in a similar situation, and this is how I became an activist. I’m not angry. I’m upset. I’m upset because I see my friends being hurt by something that isn’t their fault. I’m upset because we, as trans people, try so hard to hold each other tightly – for fear of loss. Because in every trans person, there is a part of me. And as I learned to love myself and care for myself and I learned to break my bonds, I learned to care for others like me. I hope in some way by helping others think differently about themselves, be proud to be who they are, that I can make a difference – however small that might be. And I hope that people might be able to learn to see what I see in trans people. In all the diversity… there is joy.