Empathy gives me this ability to connect on a deeper level with people around me, when I allow it. I still have trust issues, but the more I allow people to get to know me, the more I understand them. I would have thought that by allowing myself to trust others I would gain better insight into myself, but the opposite happened.
Riddle | Mystery | Enigma | Cinema Loving Nerd
What is your purpose? To become the best, most authentic version of myself; a passionate human being, a strong, open and trusting woman, a loving wife, a loyal and trustworthy friend. I would like to accomplish this with a modicum of style and grace.
What is at the core of your being? Perseverance! Someone I knew once described me with a verse of the song Tubthumping. "I get knocked down but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down". I was knocked down pretty low in my life and I do not know how I got the strength to pick myself up again. Somehow, I did. Considering that I was dangling off the cliff, if I can do it anyone can. I have had help for sure, mostly from my wonderful husband. One thing I know about myself now is that I will never stop. I do not care how much it hurts; I will never give up or give in.
What does society say about what it means to be feminine? Societal attributes, behaviors, and roles associated with femininity are esthetic beauty, gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, kindness, compassion, tolerance, care-giver, nurturer, deference, and the list goes on. Notice that I listed aesthetic beauty first. If you Google femininity your results will be aesthetically beautiful women.
How have societal messages about femininity changed in your lifetime? I grew up in the 70s; the era of sexual liberation for women. Women were finally starting to get a little control over their own bodies and made a beeline for the opposite end of the previous decade. I loved that era of the naturally beautiful badass woman. After that, it went to sexy, then smart, etc.. I think that women are finally starting to decide on their own style rather than following trends. I have never been attracted to trends.
How do you define femininity? My definition of femininity is falling in love with the woman that you are. This is a lesson I have to learn every day. On the other hand, I should say that the world’s definition of femininity is a lesson that I have to unlearn every day. Aesthetically, I do not reflect the ideal of femininity. Socially, I am not attracted to make-up. Physically, my body is catching up slowly. Therefore, femininity to me is that badass natural beauty who is self-aware and true to her own inner beauty and strength.
Is femininity part of your identity? I have to figure out what femininity means to me every day. I am atypical, to say the least. I take little steps every day into the realm of the “feminine” woman. I know that I am supposed to crave all those staples of the “feminine” woman but some still do not make sense to me. I guess that my feminine identity is just to be and not to try so hard that I become a version of myself that I do not recognize.
Describe a time when you felt feminine and were not conforming to societal messages. I do not think that I have ever conformed to the societal norms of femininity. Being a transwoman, I have to bring up the concept of “passing” as female. For us, to conform would be to pass. The hardest thing for a transwoman, and a major part of my dysphoria, is coming to terms with the idea of not “passing”. I tell myself every day “it’s okay”. Getting to a point where I am happy with the reflection in the mirror is the goal now. Not passing.
Talk about a way in which you choose to influence the world around you for the better. I do not want to change the world, just my little corner of it. I want to help some transwomen to understand that finding a style of their own is the goal in order to feel happy in their own skin. Emulating is understandable when you are trying to figure out your style. Dressing like a pop star in a music video, not the way to go. No woman in her normal everyday life dresses like that. It is a performance from an entertainer. It saddens me that people watching these transwomen will think that what they are presenting is actually who they are (performers) and that is not the case.
Talk about a way that the "world" has influenced you for the better. The person who changed my life for the better is the one who encouraged me to embrace my true self and to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of me. I remember that day in April 2010. I was in the car with my husband (then boyfriend) trying so hard to find the way to speak my truth. "Is what you need to tell me that you are transgender?" he asked. My reply was “How did you know?” and he answered, “Because I know you and I love you.”
Describe a time when you felt totally badass. The day that I had the interview for my current job is the last time that I remember having a badass moment. I was nervous at the start of the interview but 10 minutes into it the interview changed into a conversation. By the time I left I knew I had the job!
And...Every day I put my wig on and own my truth I feel badass!
Who has/does inspire you? I am inspired, in some way, by every woman who has ever interacted with me. I love women. I love being a woman. We are all of those attributes I mentioned earlier and so much more. That is why the idea of anyone portraying women in negative and stereotypical ways annoys me.
What is your "super power"? Empathy is my super power and my kryptonite. Empathy gives me this ability to connect on a deeper level with people around me, when I allow it. I still have trust issues, but the more I allow people to get to know me the more I understand them. I would have thought that by allowing myself to trust others I would gain better insight into myself, but the opposite happened.
At the heart of a strong beautiful woman is: Someone who has her own sense of self. She is not trying to emulate anyone else. She is confident.
Transgender Resources GLAAD