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.
This is part two of a series of posts about my trans experience. The first entry was Every Way Was Wrong, about my childhood and youth.
This part is about my process of self-acceptance and my eventual coming-out.
A german translation is available.
As I have written in part one, I knew that I was actually a girl early on, around age eight or nine. Not seeing any way how to safely express this, I decided to hide and bury these feelings deep. That of course didn’t prevent them from surfacing again and again over the years. However the representation of trans people and especially trans women that was available to me first and before that the complete lack of knowledge in that regard prevented me from acting on them for a long time.
Content warning: gender dysphoria, trans-hostility, self-harm, violence, sexual assault
Over four years ago I wrote about the violence and abuse I experienced as a child and teenager, what that did to me and how I live with it. Since then, a lot has happened and I came to accept a few very important things. Back then I thought I would be writing a follow-up at some point. It turned out that post was just the beginning of something much bigger.
Since then I've come out as a transgender woman and started to live as my true self. This is part one of a series about my experiences up until that point.
A german translation is available.
Recently I went through my old childhood photos. This is the latest one in which I still recognise myself. Everything after that is already showing someone in a mask who I don't see myself in. I'm about four years old in that picture.
I remember when I was eight to nine years old I often lay in bed, unable to sleep, desperately wishing to wake up next morning with a different body, a different name, a different life. I wished to live as the girl I really was. From then on I would not be able to live that live for almost another 25 years. Having been assigned male at birth I was denied that life and instead forced to masquerade as a boy. During that time, I did not understand what these wishes and feelings meant. I lacked the knowledge and vocabulary to express any of it. So I buried it deep and tried my best to perform as the world expected it from me. This is an extremely hard task, especially as a child, and I failed at it frequently.