Today is an anniversary for me. For those of you who don’t know, I am transgender, meaning I am a woman born into a man’s body. Without going into all the whys and wherefores of why this is so and how my life has been because of it, I will tell you that for me the way to fulfilment, personal congruence and happiness has been to finally embrace my womanhood. I now live my life as the woman I know I am – and, some say, the woman I should have been many years ago.
Two years ago today – Groundhog Day, 2 February, 2010 – was the day I first began living fulltime as Stephanie. It has made all the difference in my life. I’m no longer afraid of my female shadow; it doesn’t haunt me as a dream of what I want to be or a ghost of what I could have been.
I have been incredibly blessed by the people who support me on this mad, wonderul journey. Lorraine, Jacqueline, Sarah, Liz, Adam, Cynthia, Hannah, Haley, Marissa – all the precious and wonderful family who have been there all along and whose support has made it possible to live as I am meant to.
Jacqueline, my soul-sister, joined to me at the inner hip.
Janean, who believes unconditionally that I am a lovable and worthy woman.
Charlene, who first got me out on the street in a dress.
Marelize, who said “I have no idea why you’re in my office. You look like a perfectly well-adjusted young woman; get out there and get on with it!”
Melady, who talked with me for hours and was able to turn my ramblings into a formal diagnosis.
Oliver and Miriam, who formally assessed my readiness for gender reassignment surgery – and said, “of course we’re recommending you!”
And very soon, Pierre and Maud, surgeons at the Centre du Chirurgie Plastique in Montreal, who will help complete my physical transformation.
There are literally hundreds and hundreds more.
There’s my theatre manager, who when told of my impending surgery, said “Sex change? Uhh… which way are you going?”
There are the border guards who don’t believe I’m the person in the passport – and who get into some very interesting and delightful conversations with me.
There are my former co-workers, who are sad I didn’t start all this fifteen years ago.
And on it goes.
You have all, many of you unknowingly, affirmed me as Stephanie in many wonderful ways. I will be forever grateful to you.