Some say I am invading you. Others say it isn’t natural. A few make it apparent to try to bar me from your spaces, yet on a daily basis you embrace me with open arms as I travel along beside you.
What makes a woman? Is her anatomy? Is it her genetic factors? Her hormonal balance that is fueled by estrogen? Or her acceptance that she is a woman?
This topic is very opinionated and debated fiercely everyday. There are voices from every angle trying to attack the situation from medical professionals to Christian bigots. Everyone seems to continually have an opinion on the matter as the transgender community gets more steam. Yet, what all of these people fail to realize is that these are human beings they are talking about, which are just like them.
Growing up I thought I would never achieve you. Not in a million years. You seemed so far and distant, cold and unyielding. I screamed out at the top of my lungs for you to come embrace me, but I was left broken and abused.
I would see your pillars of femininity walk around me each and everyday, laughing, taunting, enjoying the life you brought them. Oh how I wished that I could join their ranks, to be as gallant as they, to enlist in the beauty that makes a woman as elegant as they are. To be comfortable in my own skin, my own being, my life.
I was plagued by my difference. I could never fit in, for I longed to be something I was not. The hurtful people around me would harness that difference to make my life hell, to use it to destroy me, to break down my walls, to make me feel worthless. It was a constant battle from the time I was 10 between life and death, with death always having the edge.
Why would I want to live in a life that made me miserable, a life that I couldn’t enjoy, I life that I wanted no part of? Why did I have to be plagued with a body and soul that didn’t align, that didn’t grow the way I needed it to, to have to endure a world that tried to make me hard, cold, fierce?
Manhood is unforgiving world. Even over the last 20 years it has evolved into something a little bit softer, but the reality is that it is still meant to be dog eat dog with no end in sight. Kill or be killed is their motto that is beat into their chest from day one. Violence is an adjective, not a verb. Cain and Abel is a virtue, not a sin. Yet, we all always have the phrase that boys will be boys.
How does one survive that world when they don’t belong, when they can’t stand for themselves or make an appearance that they are the same as everyone else like them? They don’t.
The person you become growing up in that world is far different than the person you were set out to be. You become a predator, a warrior, a conqueror as you fight to make your place in that world. You become hard. You learn to suppress your emotions to only work on anger or excitement. For those who belong, some find happiness, but those of us who don’t, we forget that word can even exist.
My path to you was hard. It was cold. It hurt. It broke me many times. I thought I would never make it. I tried to throw the idea that I could one day join you from my mind, but you lived on in my soul. I tried not to breath your name, but your essence was always around me. I knew from the pit of my stomach that you held a place for me, but yet, I could not find steady enough ground to make it towards your path.
I gave up many times, trying to embrace the world that was given to me, trying to embrace the path that I was already on, trying to embrace the view that I could never reach you. A few times I almost made it to the point that I gave up on both worlds, only to feel humiliated that life would try to bring me back because it wasn’t done with me quite yet. I continued to push hard to forget you, but somehow you were always there, in the background, existing with no relief.
Yet, somehow, I made it to you. Somehow I made into your ranks. Somehow you embraced me with open arms, even though at first you felt the need to test me, to make sure that I belonged. Your world wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. Even though I easily found my placement, it is hard for other members from both worlds to accept my invitation. Yet, somehow I don’t care. I had made it finally into a world I could call home.
Womanhood is a far different beast. There are more rules and regulations than I had ever accounted for. Things don’t just fall into place. One has to work diligently to get them there. It isn’t just an appearance, it is a way of being. There is no guidebook, just stages that you have to go through that the world throws at you.
Being an exceptionally late bloomer, I had to pick up on a lot of queues that I should have already known. I had to experience things that others had their whole lifetimes to prepare for, but for some of them, I was right in the same boat as her other members were.
I wasn’t fully prepared for the role of womanhood. I wasn’t prepared for people to go out of their way to make my life somewhat easier, but more complicated. I wasn’t prepared for the opened doors, for the sexual glares, for being over talked in a conversation, to have men assume I didn’t know what I was talking about when it came to technical subjects, to have them converse with my chest instead of my face. I wasn’t fully prepared to have to be seen as taking a submissive role in society, to have to let the members of manhood fight for the role of the Alpha. I wasn’t fully prepared for what I had to endure as a woman.
Being sexually preyed upon can happen to anyone at anytime regardless of the world that you belong to. It can be from someone you trust or someone you just met. It happens in an instant and can mess up your whole world. I never expected it to happen to me. I never thought I would be part of the statistics, but twice in less than six months kind of ruins your views for a moment. I wanted to quit the team. I wanted to pretend they never happened, I wanted to go back to not having to fear that as a possibility, to a world where it hardly existed, but I knew that I could be just as much a victim in either world.
Was I wrong for not reporting the crimes? Maybe. But I felt I had no bargaining chip. I was only a tranny when it came to my view. I was still in the military. I had been molested before and nothing had come of that. I was on a thin string in the Army, transitioning pretty much openly. I continued to make excuses. I blamed myself. I accepted it as a part of womanhood that I would have to endure, when in fact no one should have to go through it.
Womanhood has definitely taught me a lot. It has changed my views on the world. It has made me stronger in some aspects and weaker in others. It has helped changed my opinions on life and what I fear from the world. But overall it is a world that I enjoy. It is a world I am proud to wake up to. It is a world that I can be a part of. It is now my world and I will continue to prosper in it. Womanhood now embraces me and for that I continue to live.
Now I walk beside you hand in hand, ready to take on the world for what it has to throw at me, ready for what it has to offer. No longer are you my adversary, but now my advisory. No longer are you a distant longing, but a respectable friend. I still have many miles to travel on your path, in your world, but as long as I know you are behind me, I know that I will prosper. My path has been laid out before me and I’ll continually walk it proudly, openly, as a woman.