I’m Coming Out

Right now, I’m playing the hit Diana Ross sang in the 1980’s (written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers) “I’m Coming Out.” It has been such an anthem in my life, as in the lives of many queer people. I can’t even count how many gay bars, marches, or events I’ve heard this song played at, or have danced to.

There’s a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I wanna give
I’m completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never knew it
Ooh, I’ll make it through

Seems appropriate for this announcement. This has been brewing for about a year.

The image connected to this blog post is a hint, but I’ll lay it out. After living as an adult woman for 40 years, I’m transitioning to live as a man for the rest of it. The reasons for this decision are complex – I don’t have the standard narrative that “I’m a man born in the wrong body.” I actually identify as bi-gender – that is, I feel that both genders exist within me. That said, I’ve lived with gender dysphoria since puberty. I’ve spent many, many years working to love my body as it is. From therapy, to meditation practice, to embodied modalities such as Authentic Movement, all of which I deeply value and have made my life so much better. But they didn’t actually allow me the sense of being fully embodied and fully accepting of my body as it is.

What I came to was a full acceptance of the dysphoria, which is what led me to realize that the right avenue for me was to actually change my body and how I live my life. And, amazingly to me, once I made that decision, the embodiment I had sought for so long came to fruition. (To read in more detail about this process, and to keep up specifically on my transition process, you can read more at my other blog here.)

I’m legally changing my name to Maxwell next year. I’m having top surgery in early February.

In any big change, there are losses and gains, and I’m working to accept all of them with equanimity. One loss is one of community: I have been a part of the lesbian community for more than 30 years, and it feels weird to say “I’m not a lesbian anymore.” But it’s true – as I’m basically identifying as a man, I don’t get to be a lesbian anymore. I’ll miss that community, although I also have gotten to become a part of an amazing, loving, supportive community of trans-masculine folks, some of whom live right here in Sonoma County.

Life is quite the journey, and although there were many, many signs from very early on, I didn’t quite see this coming, so if you’re surprised, I get it. There’s more news, as well, and you can watch this video Ruth and I made for the Conscious Girlfriend Community.

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4 thoughts on “I’m Coming Out”

  1. I love you. You are one of my greatest mentors in self-discovery and always will be. Thank you for sharing your journey in ways that maintain the humanness, vulnerability, strength, and compassion that you both strive for and embody. Have fun discovering your “new you”! xo Audrey

  2. Over the summer, I saw your twitter bio change to they/them pronouns and I did a little cheer. I watched the video the other day – and for whatever reason I *immediately* knew when your face popped up. I’ve been meaning to send you a message of support since and have wondered about the propriety of saying “I’m proud of you” – is that weird considering our mentor/mentee relationship? But I *am* proud of you and that feels most honest so, here we are. I support you fully, and I’m so excited for your new journey. <3

  3. I want to thank you both for these heartfelt messages. They mean so much to me, and it’s so wonderful to feel such support! Love to you both!

  4. I am proud of your declaration, and your commitment to who you are. I support your decision wholeheartedly and with a sense of peace. I wish you the best and a lifetime of happiness.

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