Tomorrow is New York Pride! It's expected to be one of the biggest ever as a result of the emotional impact of the Orlando shootings - and there will also be an increased NYPD presence as a result of the shootings. I expect that they'll do a moment of silence for Orlando - they do it each year for those lost to HIV/AIDs, and it's always an incredibly moving experience - you're on the streets of NYC with thousands and thousands of people, and there isn't a single sound (otherwise it's almost impossible to be on 5th Ave. or in the Village in total silence, except perhaps during a snowstorm).
For me, this is my first NY Pride since I started transitioning. Last year at this time I had "come out," but I hadn't really started transitioning yet (I went for a gender bending look at Pride). So this will also be the first time I'm actually marching and not just watching (I did also volunteer one year). I'm planning to march with Identity House, the peer counseling organization I volunteer with, which is what prompted me to march. In the past I've wanted to, but didn't really have any group that I felt strongly enough about to march with.
But back to the point about it being the first Pride since my transition started. That has prompted me to look squarely at my own ambivalence about being trans. I don't mean that I question whether I am or not, any question like that was resolved LONG ago - I mean that at some level, at some times, I try to reject my identity as a transwoman, and "just" be a woman. Sometimes it's an affirmative thing, I'm affirming my gender identity as a woman, other times though it's a negative, it's me trying to not be trans.
This is kind of a hard thing to acknowledge here in particular - on this website - but I think that makes it more important to do. I went to the Transgender Health Conference in Philadelphia a few weeks ago and realized that I felt very uncomfortable. In my day-to-day life I'm typically the only trans person around, this was a rare situation where I was in roomfuls of trans people, and I wasn't comfortable, which upset me a lot.
I don't think it's unusual, perhaps others (many others even) here have experienced it - or something similar. There is an underlying wish - that is, I have an underlying wish that I had just been born a cisgender woman - and it can feel horrible to recognize that that will simply never be my reality. There is no amount of transitioning that will ever make me a cisgender woman.
I am taking a step to work through this tomorrow at Pride - I found a shirt on-line to wear, a pink tank-top that says "Trans Women are Real Women" :-) I think it's important for me to take ownership of that message - keeping in mind that while I'm wearing it for Pride, I'll also be wearing it as I travel back and forth to the city, which means around an audience that isn't necessarily receptive to the message.
So I just wanted to - or rather, felt the need to - share that. I'll post some pics on Monday :-)