Transition is a series of tiny steps

Paralyzed.

This is a word I hear over and over from my clients as they are questioning and exploring their gender identity and expression. Gender transition can feel like a giant leap with no clear safety net and that feels completely overwhelming.

The truth is that gender transition is a series of tiny steps.

I'm here to tell you that It's ok to play-to explore gender from a place of curiosity.

Try this: Take one tiny step in the direction of a gender identity or presentation that you're curious about. 

Maybe this looks like putting on lipstick and hanging out with your close friends. Maybe this looks like asking your partner to start using different pronouns for you. Maybe this looks like trying on a new style of clothing and having a dance party in your own home.

Then pause. Slow down. Breathe.

How do you feel? How does your body feel?

If you feel anxious, is it the kind of anxiety that feels like you're about to do something dangerous-like jumping out of plane without a parachute? If it feels dangerous, is the fear grounded in reality? Ask yourself:

1-Is this belief true? Do you actually have a parachute but your body is saying "WTF ARE YOU DOING? GET BACK IN THE PLANE!" ?

2-Is this belief helpful? If you don't have a parachute, then yes, it's keeping you safe. Good job, body. If you do have a parachute, this belief isn't serving you and might be keeping you from having an experience that leaves you feeling like this:

(Image Description: I'm standing in a field with a parachute backpack on and a parachute behind me after landing from skydiving. I have a really goofy, excited look on my face and my hair is wild.)

(Image Description: I'm standing in a field with a parachute backpack on and a parachute behind me after landing from skydiving. I have a really goofy, excited look on my face and my hair is wild.)

We often think of all feelings of fear or anxiety as bad and a sign that something is wrong.

What if that feeling of anxiety was actually stage fright?

That feeling of taking one last big, breath before you step into a bigger space than you're used to-something that feels scary because it's taking you out of your comfort zone but is also full of a sense of awe and a new kind of energy. Maybe it feels like that weight on your chest is a little lighter and you have more room to breathe.

Notice that feeling. Embrace it. Step into it.

I don't know about you, but I've never taken a big step in my life without my stomach doing at least a little flip.



Are You Trans Enough?

I put a binder on and took it off again. 3 times. My brain was spinning.

What if...

People think I'm doing this for attention

People think this is a marketing ploy

this is not real if I feel ok choosing day to day if I want to wear a binder

I'm appropriating because I can wear a "regular" bra and also be fine

Gah! Fuck it.

I went through this almost every time I tried to wear a binder for at least a year.

As someone who didn't question their gender growing up, doesn't have intense body or gender dysphoria, and since (as it tends to happen in my life) my career interests proceeded my personal evolution and I was working a lot with trans/gnc folks, I was extremely worried that asserting my nonbinary identity in any way would come with community members pointing fingers at me saying "FRAUD!"

Spoiler alert: This didn't happen

In fact, nothing bad happened at all. My gender evolution has felt like a slow stretch in the morning, like a gentle waking up and loosening/expansion. I'm lucky in that way. But that luck also made me feel like I wasn't trans enough to claim any identity beside cisgender.

I hear this question a lot from my clients: Am I trans?

After digging in over and over, it's often the case that underneath that question are a couple layers that go something like:

Am I trans enough?

Am I enough?

Let me assure you. You are enough.

What I want most for you is to know, deep deep down, that there is enough space [infinite space] for you and your gender identity and expression. 

You being the most authentic, turned on ("buzzy"), audacious version of yourself is NOT taking anything away from other folks who fall under the trans umbrella whose identities and narrative might be more binary, more traditionally feminine or masculine, or just different from yours.

It is NOT taking away from others and doesn't invalidate your trans identity or experience to:

  • not know from an early age that you were trans/non-binary

  • not experience strong body and/or gender dysphoria

  • want to keep more masculine or feminine parts of yourself no matter what your gender identity

My challenge to you is to notice when those fraudy feelings come up. Just notice. You don't have to do anything with them. And take up space anyway. Own your identity. Your experience doesn't have to be the same as others to be valid.

You're enough. I promise.

-Rae

PS-I think you're magic