The First Time I Said, ‘I’m Trans’

From The New York Times:

Looking back on two decades in which things got better and much worse.

By Jennifer Finney Boylan
Jan. 22, 2020

Twenty years ago this month I stood on the banks of Great Pond, in Rome, Maine, holding my children in my arms. It was New Year’s Eve. Over the frozen lake, fireworks burst, welcoming the new millennium.

Something inside of me struggled to be known.

The next morning we climbed French’s Mountain, in Belgrade. We do that every year, on New Year’s Day. We ate clementines.

At the summit I looked down over Long Pond. What would happen, I wondered, if I finally spoke the words aloud, after all these years? Was this the moment I would lose my children, my job, my marriage?

On Jan. 6, 2000, I did it. I’m transgender, I said.

So much has changed since then. In some ways, this country has become safer, as more and more of us step forward to proclaim our realness.

In other ways, we’re more threatened than ever.

When I came out, no one had yet been schooled on the finer points of hating me; most bigots in this country didn’t know a trans woman from the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Because my existence was so far off their radar, few people had bothered to come up with laws to make my life worse. No one lost much sleep over trans folks serving their country. Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono and Janet Mock were not publicly out; Laverne Cox was 13 years from her epic role in “Orange Is the New Black.”

There had been plenty of public fighters for trans people before me — including the iconic Sylvia Rivera, as well my friend Kate Bornstein. But still, there were times when trans advocacy was a lonely place to be.

It is not lonely now. The country abounds with trans people, and not only people like me. There are drag queens and nonbinary people and genderqueer folks and so many others. It is awesome to think of how far we have come.

But it’s also scary. Because now that we’re on the radar, conservatives (and others) have developed a new language with which to demonize us.

Continue reading at:

3 Responses to “The First Time I Said, ‘I’m Trans’”

  1. Christian Skruhak Says:

    I read the whole article through the New York Times. Thank you for writing this as the world needs to hear it. I agree with you that all the protesting/arguing/hating is absolutely only bc people are “weirded out”- people are uncomfortable and resist what they do not understand. I think trans people are amazing people put here to transform the way people look at the world, to shake up gender and the underlying imbalence of feminine and masculine energy, and the structure imbalences that are destroying our planet. We have a mission to do! I loved your coming out story too- the first time we say ” i am trans”, is an empowering and memorable moment. Thank you for sharing

    • Suzan Says:

      I’m 72, this summer I’ll be 73. I first came out to my parents in 1962. I think my cosmic purpose of being is to live honestly and ethically. I dealt with what I was born, which given when I was born and when I came out was heavy enough of a burden.

      If by living my life I have shown others that it is possible for them to also find their truth then I have accomplished miracles. Small ones but miracles nonetheless.

      I’ve never looked at living honestly as amazing although given the levels of dishonesty and cruelty one encounters, perhaps it is.

      • Christian Skruhak Says:

        Absolutely agree with you! And what a wonderful purpose you have found in all this. I’m into astrology and they told me that “my soul chose this body” because i have a purpose. I like looking at it that way bc i can decide who i want to be. And it is amazing to live authentically and ethically. That is way more than many people will ever have.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: