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:
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.