2019 is coming to an end today, as are the 2010s, and what a time it has been.
Looking back on everything that's happened in this decade doesn't really feel right. I've already done that a few times here and I'm glad I did. Writing and publishing these pieces was hugely helpful at the time:
- "Why I'm Scared", about confronting childhood trauma and acknowledging my anxiety disorder
- "Every Way Was Wrong", describing childhood and teenage years as a closeted trans girl
- "How I Found Myself", where I described my process of self-acceptanc and coming-out but also what prevented me from doing that earlier
- "Dysphoria ad Surviving It", looking back on decades with body dysphoria after finally getting rid of it and trying to describe how it actually feels
At the beginning of 2019 I honestly did not believe that I would be alive by the end of the year, but here I am feeling better than ever before. In the past few months I experienced actual happiness for the very first time and I'm still not used to that feeling.
Starting with 2020 I find myself in an unfamiliar situation: There are no big issues that need to be addressed. Sure there are things that I need to work on, some of them still very difficult. But nothing as significant as the transition process of the past two years. The big steps of my social and medical transition area all done and dysphoria is a thing of the past. I'm now looking forward to a time of settling in, calming down, and having time and energy for … just living my own life.
See you around. 💜
Content notes: gender dysphoria, medical transition, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, sexual violence
A german translation of this post is available.
„How does gender dysphoria feel?" is a really hard question. Imagine describing what pain or hunger feel like to an artificial intelligence that has never experienced those sensations. Every animal with a central nervous system knows what pain feels like, that includes humans. You never have to explain pain to anyone. We all experience it very early in our lives and we all know it, with rare exceptions.
I’ve been struggling to describe this feeling and sensation that has been such a big part of my personal experience as a trans woman. For a very long time I didn’t have the right words and no fitting metaphors for that. Only over the past year, while my own dysphoria became much stronger to the point of being unbearable, did I find some ways to express this.
This started as a Twitter thread but I think it makes sense to have it here in one piece:
When interviewing people for senior/leadership positions, I never directly ask them about what they think about diversity and inclusion efforts. If you ask directly, almost everybody will say “Yes, that’s very important to me.” even if they are mostly clueless.
Spoiler Warning for The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and Star Wars in general.
I’m discussing Star Wars with the exclusion of Episode 1 to 3 here since I don’t consider them part of my personal Star Wars experience. You might disagree but that’s how I’ll do it.
I’ve enjoyed the Star Wars movies ever since I was a kid. I watched the original trilogy countless times, I really don’t know how often. Until about a year ago, my favorite of them was, as it is for many others, The Empire Strikes Back. Even after becoming aware of its many problems, it still remains an excellent piece of film making and I can watch it and the other two films over and over again. But although I really enjoy them I never really understood how much Star Wars meant to many people. So many fans seemed to have a deep emotional connection to these movies and I always wondered why and couldn’t quite understand it. Sure, I liked the movies, very much even. But they didn’t mean that much to me.
And then I saw The Last Jedi.