Groundhog Day, 2011. It’s my first anniversary of living full-time as myself. One year ago I finally thumbed my nose at my shadow.
It’s a day like any other, of course: grocery shopping, errands and other unremarkable things. It’s like a birthday when you’re an adult: there’s nothing special or magical about it.
Still, I feel a need to mark the event. Perhaps it’s because I’m still young as Stephanie. On one scale I’m 62, on another I’m 18 and on yet another I’m only one. When you’re a kid a birthday is a big deal. It’s cake and candles and presents and a party with your friends and weeks of anticipation, all of which combine to mark a truly special event.
And why not? Never mind the groundhogs – I’ve run the full circle of seasons living as my true self for the first time in my life. I’ve experienced birthdays, weddings, summer holidays, singing with my friends and being involved with my community. I’ve been on stage. I’ve sung in a mass choir. I’ve had people think someone else is the transgender in our vocal group. I’ve worked in a theatre in the public eye. What’s made all these ordinary things special is the acceptance, the self-honesty and pride with which I can do them all.
I’m not afraid of my shadow any more.
That’s a transformation worthy of a celebration.