When I started on my journey I would hear the term “True Self” with derision. After all, I was who I was and I might change but my core would stay the same, right? Then months went past and the persona I had as a man was clearer to me. It was clear that was not who “I” the ego at the core of my being was. The male I existed as was a facade, a charade to take in family and friends. Carefully keeping away from obvious expressions of femininity he walked a hard line.
Not to say he was a hard man. He cried at movies and shared his emotions. In fact I have much in common with him. I would not be who I am without him. He was a good person, but I am not him, at least not exactly him.
Back when I was in graduate school I started to engage in some sewing, cross stitch and knitting. He was threatened and backed away. Not quickly, but he did. Then a few years later sewing came back and was rejected again. D was afraid of not playing his part.
Could D be my true self? Not really, D was ashamed not only of being transgender but of his expressions of art and movement that could be threatening to a masculine self image. His self image was very fragile. Is it a wonder that it took little time to dismantle it when the time came?
What other name then to assign the woman that remain? If D was not my true self, then what remains must be. As I’ve grown more comfortable with this I’ve become less dependent on the judgment of others in being confident and self-accepting. If someone doesn’t approve then my feeling is that I shouldn’t try to convince them. Turn away and move on.
Ultimately, if we accept our true selves and remain centered, then we will realize that we do not need to argue for acceptance. People who don’t accept us are not going to be convinced by any argument, no matter how well thought out or expressed. If they have three reasons and you answer them then they will trot out a fourth reason. They don’t approve because they don’t, the reasons are their to justify what they want to do.