Who am I, and what am I doing here? Those are a couple of the questions I ask myself regularly. Once upon a time, I was living my life as a man, until one day I realized that if I ever wanted to be content, I also had to be honest. I had to be the woman I was meant to be. But it took me a long time to come to terms with that, and a longer time to decide to do something about it.
“Transgender” was a word I was afraid to attach to myself for a very long time. It comes with connotations of men wearing dresses and Jerry Springer episodes, but I didn’t feel like a man wearing a dress the first time I locked my door, drew my shades, and tried one on. I felt more beautiful that I ever had before. I felt like I could be who I wanted to be. But gender isn’t just about clothing. Gender is hard to pin down, and that causes some of the widespread confusion, no doubt. I still fight with society’s concept of what a trans woman is sometimes. Mainstream media pounds it into our heads that being transgender is wrong, and breaking that misconception is hard. So hard. So hard that transgender suicides and suicide attempts are way up around 40%. Think about that for a minute. 40%. 4 out of every 10 trans people kill themselves, or have tried at some point.
But I’m learning to embrace that word. To make it my own. I can’t change who I am, but I can try my best to be positive about it. Those negative thoughts still creep in sometimes. Society still manages to shoehorn in their ideas that what I am is an abomination, and every now and then, for a second, just for a second, I believe it. So I’m here to fight back. I’m here to add my voice to the ever growing movement that isn’t afraid to stand up and say that there isn’t anything wrong with being transgender, but that there is something seriously wrong with the way transgender people are treated by media, religion, lawmakers, and sometimes even their own family and friends. To help other transgender people get over that little voice in their head that tells them this is wrong, and to tell everyone else who tries to push that idea that we don’t want the garbage they’re selling.
My name is Natalie. I am a 25 year old transgirl in the process of transition, and I am here to fight like a grrrl.