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My best friend is a trans woman whom I’ve known for 20+ years–since before her surgery. We became friends right when she was constantly living with the question of whether she was really passing as a woman. Oh, she was, and I helped her see that. She helped me find myself. We really understood one another, because at that time I was working with a therapist who specializes in trans men & women, and I was seriously considering following my friend’s experience.
After a couple of years of that therapy I felt very grateful to be trans, and I asked the therapist if I should think about surgery. She gave me a wonderfully wise answer: “Edelle, you’re trans all right, but you don’t have to change your body. And I know that you really don’t want to.” “How can you know that when I’m not even sure?” “It’s easy. You’re too much in love with your penis.” “Well, there’s that.” I’ll never forget that moment.
After that, a terrible and complicated legal problem knocked my life completely off the rails, and while I was recovering from that tragedy I repressed my trans woman side because living as Ed, the man I’d always been, was easier and less complicated at the time. I wish I’d had the courage then to stay on the path to being trans and letting my Edelle persona breathe.
I’m trans, but not like my friend. I’m not interested in HRT or surgery. But I am interested in expressing my whole self more–my real self. So Sometimes I say that among LGBTQ people I’m somewhere on the BTQ spectrum. It’s an answer for nosy people, and it’s vague enough to let me continue exploring just who I am. Ed and Edelle are not two people. I love that now, and I’m giving Edelle more space to show up.
I’m reading a excellent book right now, “Sissy” by Jacob Tobia, a brilliant (& funny) gender-fluid person. His story is helping me to appreciate how much societal pressure there is to label ourselves, and just how unhealthy that is.
So here I am, looking for understanding and friendship, AND help in expressing beautiful Ed/Edelle in the best way possible!
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