“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
– Maya Angelou
Over the past few days, I have posted a couple of more intense posts. One shared some rough experiences I had in RL and then, of course, my last post touched on how people like me truly need the support of people like you to help us educate the world around us. Myself and those like me can’t confront these challenges alone and while I have felt the love and support of so many of you, I also know that when the curtain of anonymity and social media is taken away, many balk on their beliefs in real life out of fear.
In saying that, know I’m not judging anyone. While it’s easy to say we should all practice what we preach, stand up for others who are being threatened, etc., I know it is idealistic to say we all must do that all of the time. Sure, yes…in a perfect world we would. But this world is anything but perfect. This world can be cruel.
And I know that even as I have begun to live my life as my authentic self, it’s still a struggle for me some days to confront the evils and horrors of this world.
I’ve often said that I truly do understand why so many who transition choose to live their lives stealth. We fear ridicule, assault, denial of services and other means of discrimination. Even as I have started to live my life full time, I struggle with my transition being so visible in the workplace. I know I have shared here how I have been asked to meet with our new equality director to share my experiences with her and be a visible voice for the transgender community. I’ve already had a little birdie at work tell me I should expect to be contacted by the hospital’s media relations site. Apparently they want to feature me on our intranet to share my store during Transgender Awareness Week in November. I have had multiple people ask me to speak up about being treated equally in the workplace with all that’s going on in the world.
And, to be honest…all of that scares the hell out of me.
I have made some decisions this past week regarding all of what I mentioned before. Yes, I am going to speak with our new equality department. I believe that I have to do that. I have to share my story since I am a visible voice and in that, I will talk about not just what my hospital has done poorly, but also what they have done well. I also plan to address how our health insurance, at a hospital that has made a pledge to be the leader in transgender care in the state, is completely missing the mark on what should and should not be covered with regards to transgender care and gender affirming surgeries. Throw in the lack of a hospital policy on managing transition and such, and we have truly missed the mark in some areas.
As for the employee spotlight piece on the intranet…I think I’ll pass.
I’ve shared that all of this has taken an enormous amount of emotional energy from me. The good, as well as the bad, has left me truly exhausted and wishing I could just hide in a closet until me being me is a normal thing, for everyone. I think some people believe this has all been easy for me while, unfortunately it hasn’t. It’s taken every ounce of energy and perseverance I have in me sustain through these first few weeks back. And there is still a ways to go.
Thankfully, as I have been confronted by challenges like IT being so miserable or the two encounters I shared the other day…I don’t feel as though I have lost who I am in the process. Yes, I am becoming a bit more…vocal…regarding aggressions and microaggressions. I haven’t backed down beyond the pause due to just plain old shock. But I have maintained my support of those who want to support me and make their mistakes. I haven’t lost faith in the doctors and nurses who have given me such excellent care so far. I haven’t lost hope that the world, at least with regards to accepting a woman like me, is getting better. I won’t let those bad experiences break me or fundamentally change my views on those who do want to support me and others like me.
Sadly, I have seen so many who have transitioned become so bitter towards the world that every honest slip up becomes an offensive slight. Anytime someone tells them no, they automatically assuming it’s because they are transgender. Every time some jerk makes some sort of statement of disapproval towards them, they automatically assume it’s because they are transgender. They are unable to see it any other way.
I refuse to let this world break me. I have started making more time for myself because I can tell that when my emotional bucket is close to empty, it’s easy for me to jump to conclusions about those who believe in me and support. I don’t want to lose slight of those who have stood by me. I don’t want to become that jaded. I can’t afford to become that jaded. We, myself and the rest of the transgender community, need the support of people like you too much to squander our friends and support networks.
I can see more now, more than ever, how it is so easy to let happen, but I refuse to let myself go there. And all of you help keep me from going to that place.
Thank you for that gift. ♥
See it on Flickr.
ACT5 Poses – 176-female running