March 31 is the Transgender Day of Visibility. Today happens to be the first time I heard of this day. I had always heard about the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and am glad I now know about this day as well. Ever since I started my blog, before I wrote my first post, I had been debating whether or not to write about my own struggles. For me, this day is giving me the courage to speak up.
I don't know exactly where or how I fall. For me, it is a lot of confusion, a confusion that goes away when I'm online. In my mind and in my heart, I am Trasee, fully female. Unfortunately, my biological gender has never aligned with that. Second Life allows me to be fully myself, without the limitations of my biology. It is one of the reasons Second Life means so much to me, and why I'm online as often as I am. Now that my identity is established in my entire online life, I have more than just SL to make up for what I'm missing in reality.
For as long as I can remember, I've always disliked how I was born. Many times in my youth, I would pretend I was born differently than I was. I never dressed up, and never had any opportunities to. It was all imagination. I felt different, but I didn't know what I felt.
In my senior year of high school, and for a couple years beyond, I used to spend time with friends playing Dungeons & Dragons. My favorite character during that time was a female weretiger. I didn't think much more of it at the time, but I remember it felt much more comfortable to play as opposed to any male character I had ever created.
It was the late 90's that I started hearing more about transgender. I was in my mid to late 20's and researching the topic online. I spent a lot of time on it, had a lot of questions, but not really a lot of answers. I read about the struggles, the challenges, the discrimination, the violence, and even about the surgeries involved. Weighing my options at the time, I made the decision not to go any further. While others, it may have been necessary, for me, I couldn't accept the difficulties that went along with it. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but it was one that I felt was necessary in my case.
In the early to mid 2000's, I was involved in play by post role playing on forums. Basically, a form of collaborative story telling. I always considered myself creative, and even in the 90's and had written many things, even though I never completed them. This was another way to express my writing creativity. As was usual for me, my favorite characters to write were always female. They always seemed to be the most natural for me.
July 2009 I discovered Second Life. In reality, I had first found it in July 2006, but abandoned it after a couple days, not understanding it. The second time was different, though, as I found myself in Faery Crossing, going through a tutorial and being greeted by friendly people. I thought I had to create a male, so that's what I did, but there were free outfits for females there as well. It was then that I realized that I could be female if I wanted to. So, the very next day, I created a female avatar and entered through Faery Crossing again.
To say it was weird for me is an understatement. I wondered if I was lying to people. Would I just be seen as the stereotypical guy pretending to be a girl? I knew that wasn't the case, I was a female, but would I be accepted as one? The thought that I was being deceitful led me to tell people right away about my reality. I had been rejected for that several times, which hurt more than I could express. Why would I be hurt by a perfect stranger rejecting me? It shouldn't have mattered, but it always did. Like anyone else, I just wanted to be accepted for who I was.
In late 2009, I met Arjurna in world. Like others, I told her about my reality, still thinking it was something I had to do. While I don't remember the exact words anymore, I remember the gist and the emotion behind it. "You don't have to tell anyone anything. You're a woman. That's all you are. Don't tell anyone any differently." It was soon after that when Trasee was "born."
I've went through a lot, made a lot of mistakes along the way. I realized, like Arjurna had said, I was a woman, and I wasn't lying or deceiving anyone by saying that. It is who I am. I learned I didn't have to make up things about my life just to fit into that idea, that I just needed to be myself. Yes, I still did come out to a couple of my best friends and my Mistress. I'm sure there are a few others who probably suspected it. For the most part, though, I never really talked about it, mainly because I am a woman, why would I say any differently?
Now, I'm coming out completely. Anyone can read this blog and find out the truth. This is very frightening for me to do still, because I'm afraid that I may have people reject me. If they do, they were never friends anyways. Will it hurt, I'm sure it will, but this is a day to be visible, and I want to be proud of who I am.
Earlier in this post I said I don't know where I fall. That's because in reality, I still have my choice of not transitioning. I'm not going to go into the details here, as that would be another, very complex, dialog. I'm living as a male, which is something I feel that I need to do, not necessarily something I want to do. I live under the mask, while Second Life and my online identity allow the real me to be presented. It isn't easy, but it is the choice that I felt I needed to make. If you ask me, I'll say I'm transgendered or simply gender dysphoric. Although, what I really want to say, and the way I really want to be seen, is as a woman.