Image: Caroline’s Cakes
I’m lucky to be alive, and I know it.
As I struggled with my gender identity, I felt haunted by my own ghost. I had visions of my death–by suicide, murder, or unhappy accident. One thing I knew: I simply could not grow up, become an adult and grow old as a woman. It was just impossible. When I tried to imagine myself in the future, I saw nothing. A total void. I remember saying, “People like me don’t live that long.” It sounded true. I was 18.
Then came the idea–I could grow into a man. Suddenly, I had something to look forward to. I could imagine myself turning 20, 30, 40, 50 as a man. I could imagine being a husband and a father. I could imagine being an old man. I had found my future.
When I transitioned, I truly felt I got a second shot at life. This experience has made me more grateful, more present, and more compassionate. I feel like I got a miraculous second chance, and I intend to enjoy the hell out of it. I also feel a deep obligation to help others–a thank you for the impossible blessing I have received.
All of us alive today are lucky to be here. I am very glad to have a constant reminder of that.
What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit anonymously.
In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.