Being trans is both a huge thing and a very small thing.
Small because a gender is really such a small part of who we are. At least compared to how society makes it. For society, people are their genders first, their souls second. For me, people are people first, they’re who their spirit chose to express, and gender is just a small part of it, a detail almost.
Being trans is small because all it is, is this: me, deciding to change my way of expressing myself in clothes and gestures and voice, and, as an extension of that, undertaking body modifications. It’s very comprehensive, but I don’t see it as much different as embracing an identity as hippie or punk. Both involve a set of clothes, mannerisms and even body modifications. It’s not so extensive but I see it as the same thing.
Being trans can be a big thing, though, because society doesn’t see things that way. It makes gender such a big thing. And so, in a way, it is.
It’s big because of all the ways I’m going to have to relearn how to interact with society. It’s big because I have to deal with sexism and transphobia, and because I’m going to have a role and a set of prejudices pushed on me that I’ll have to come to terms with and fight against.
It’s also big because I have to sort out the confusion which society has saddled me with, including internalised sexism and transphobia, as well as ideas about what gender is that I’m going to have to break down and find new ideas for. I’m going to have to find new role models or invent some. I’m going to have to come to terms with the whole of who I want to be, and experience the breakdown of some parts of my worldview in order to accomodate that.
Being trans is also big because society tells me gender is a big thing, and while some part of my subconscious still believes that I’m going to have a heavy weight on my shoulders to hold up.
I know I feel better when I see my gender as a small part of who I am, and my lifestyle changes, while extensive, as basically innocuous. What stresses me the fuck out is thinking that being trans is some life or death thing that makes up the entire part of my personality.
…Or something. I don’t really think that, but society encourages those thoughts in me and I really don’t want to fall for that. Sometimes being trans is a small thing and maybe that’s just great. I’ve had enough of making it a big deal. Let’s get over it already.
Hey, I write, I travel, I know languages. I meditate, I cook and I do comedy — let’s look at those things. I’m pretty interesting and I have some cool things to say. That’s important. My gender isn’t really. Certainly it isn’t more important than writing or cooking. Maybe it’s *as* important – it’s like those things, just one facet of my being.
Conclusion: I’m not my gender. I’m a person.