I was born and raised female. I sometimes forget, and I hate when I do. I think it is important to remember my history. I have done this in many ways, and think it is essential to my life. I never changed my birth certificate. While I was born in Ohio and cannot change the gender marker, I have also chosen to not to change the name. I want to respect my past and hold it as a part of my life that even while not the best of times it has made me the person I am today. I was named after my grandmother and great-grandmother. Two wonderful women whose own histories will always be connected to me: I never got to meet either of them but they live on in my blood and my name. I did change my name and am proud of the name I chose. But I could not bring myself to erase them from my past.
My mother once asked me what she should do with my pictures. I told her to keep them up and keep them visible in her albums. That is my history as much as it is hers and I cannot take that nor do I have the right to. Really I am still female and always will be, living as male does not erase this fact for me, it is hard for some to understand this. Many trans people wish to paint a new picture and I have found it is a disservice to my life to paint a new picture or rewrite my book. I have just added on to my painting and created a new chapter.
Because I never changed my history I get caught in situations where I confuse people and this in it self can me a learning tool to use on those who meet me. I had once said, when I was a girl scout… and I got a look that can only be described as utter confusion and this is a window of opportunity to use my history for discussion of what trans is and how it affects the lives of those who are gender variant.
I have found power and strength in my history and truly am proud of it. This is not the life for everyone and I know we each must chose our own ways of living but I hope this can open the eyes of some struggling to decide what to do about their own history. A new chapter was my choice. What will be yours?