In the time between when I last wrote (long ago) and now, I’ve thought a lot about why writing for OP – and living an open, honest life – is important to me. Writing here under my full name has been a small part of me being what I would say is “very out.” Both writing for OP and being so open about my transition severely strained a relationship that is very important to me. But telling my story is a critical part of my process of transition.
I struggle with my “outness” all the time – what does it mean in certain spaces? Will it negatively impact me when I search for my next job? Will my wife and my family be affected? Will I be safe? And at the same time, I have a desire to be “more out,” and I am disappointed when there are articles about trans* athletes that I am not a part of. I find myself trying to navigate being a reluctant role model.
A few months ago, a younger person where I work found me through OP and contacted me for support. I was hesitant to speak with him, but I remember when I was researching and starting my transition, I did not have a trans* role model or guide for this journey. I remember what it felt like to struggle and to feel like I was the only one going through this. We met and had a good conversation about his experiences so far, and the meeting helped me to work through some of my recent anxieties about being out.