I remember how I felt when I first started taking hormones. There was a peaceful, calming feeling that started to wash over me when my body began its long delayed feminine development phase.
I started checking myself out on a full length mirror and practically got giddy with excitement as I saw curves starting to form on my hips. I remember how tender my nipples were when they started expanding and the breasts started budding and filling out. I was happy when my skin started smoothing out, clearing up and the body hair growth started slowing down. I remember when my hair finally got long enough to where I actually could do my first perm on it.
The initial body morphing, however was the easy part of the transition. Being a woman is more than just having the body. Femininity is more spiritual and mental. It's also an ongoing process. I'm thirteen years down the road and I'm still learning and evolving in terms of being on this journey called womanhood.
One of the mistakes I see some transwomen make is trying to rush the process. It took your mothers, aunts and sisters a decade just to go through the process of having their bodies morph into their adult feminine forms. While they are adjusting to that, they are being socialized into the feminine gender role by all the female members of their families and with the encouragement of society at large.
We transwomen go down a different path. We make that journey in many cases under trying circumstances. We don't have a decade to get comfortable with our bodies, we have to do it on the fly. Our families resist us in terms of trying to force us into a gender role that's incongruent for us. Society fights us tooth and nail since its tendency is to fear what it doesn't understand.
And yet through all of that, to paraphrase Maya Angelou, and still we rise.
Somehow, despite all of that, we manage to get through the trial by fire and become the women that we were born to be. Sometimes I get a little upset about the drama I've gone through (and STILL go through), the insults, the snide remarks and daily slights just to be me. I feel cheated sometimes when I pass by a little girl, a woman with kids in tow or a sistah I'm casting an admiring look at because she's working an outfit. I wonder how different my childhood would have been if I'd been born in the correct body from Day One.
When I talk to my sistah friends, I get brought back to reality. I've been told by them numerous times that I'm the blessed one. One of my sistah friends told me that she'd rather be me because she wouldn't be dealing with cramps and Aunt Flo once a month.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the street, I guess ;)