Know Your Worth
Updated: Jan 11, 2019
At the start of 2019 I made an oath to myself to set particular goals to challenge myself, improve my intellect and to obtain personal growth. Along with a number of other milestones, targets and professional and artistic advancements, I have decided to create a personal blog to monitor my progress as an individual and record my feelings, achievements and observations.
I love challenging myself, taking myself out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to the limit. This can at times be a bad thing but can also be a very good thing. I am proud of myself for getting this far and writing this blog to start with as I have never been confident with words and have often questioned my own intellect. So, what does one do when they feel this way about their own ability but also have the drive to achieve and do more? Well the answer is write and write a lot!
You see, I have decided to write a book based on my personal experiences as a transgender woman, my journey to womanhood and the life experiences that have assisted to validate or make me question my own worth. With this said the title for the book was easier to create than the journey itself was to discover and the truth that was to be told after years of questioning, facing discrimination and chasing and repeating self-destructive behaviours.
For transgender people, the evolution of finding one’s self, the transitional process and longing for self-acceptance is ongoing and has no end, well, at least that is what I have experienced and come to learn over the years.
When I first decided to publicly transition, I thought and honestly believed that once I had physically transitioned my life would be complete. I would be accepted in society as a woman, or at least what society perceives a woman to be. I would find my happy ending, I would meet my prince charming and I would finally have internal peace and contentment. Unfortunately but thankfully this was not the case. I say thankfully because without the experiences of my life I would not be the woman I am today and I would not be in a position to share such an important message with you.
“Know Your Worth”.
Transgender people are mostly not accepted by the broader community, in fact the opposite. We are policed for living as our authentic selves, we are criticised, made fun of, put down and assaulted. Transgender people face one of the highest amounts of discrimination and prejudice placed upon any one minority group and we have less legal and social rights than those of the broader community.
In many devastating cases, transgender people are murdered within their own communities just for being themselves. We are imprisoned for the same reason and sent to jails that do not validate us as our rightful genders, and again we are further assaulted, ridiculed and murdered throughout this process just for living our truths. It is still illegal to be transgender in many countries across the globe and even in countries where it is not, there is an extremely high level of social and personal challenges to be faced by the transgender community.
In western society things are somewhat improved compared to my transgender brothers and sisters living in the Middle East, parts of Asia and South America. Things may be better in the sense of legalities and for those able to pass in a society that perceives someone to be stereotypically male or female, but by no means do the majority of transgender people live a life that is rich, safe and validated.
Transgender people have incredibly high rates of suicide, self-harm and unemployment due to society inflicted mental health barriers and socioeconomic inequality the broader community and government bodies’ places upon us. This is a sad fact and it is important to know that statistically for transgender people of colour, specifically transgender women of colour, this is again amplified to an even higher rate.
It is important for me to note, that despite discussing these statistics and facts, I do not speak on behalf of all transgender people or the entire transgender community. I do not relate to being activist and nor do I wish to become one. I will advocate for others and always stand up for what is right but this is a space purely for me to share my journey, my life and experiences. I do however, hope that people can relate to my truth and experiences, learn about their own identity and grow to respect themselves as individuals or equally as important, grow to further respect the transgender people they interact with in their lives. We all deserved to be loved, validated and treated with kindness and respect.
So how does one learn to love themselves, find acceptance both from themselves and others in a world that says we are less than? How does one find true love, friendships and employment when society sexualises our experiences or does not see as being equal to our cisgender counterparts? How do we simply just be, find contentment and inner peace in a world that tells us we are wrong?
It took me a long time to accept myself, be proud of who I am and find happiness in a world that is so cruel to transgender people. I am still working on myself and learning to love myself but I do feel closer to self-acceptance now than I have previously in my life. It is really important to recognise your own personal growth and change and to not compare yourself to others. If there is one thing I can share and embed into people’s minds it is to NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. If you can learn this, your life will become richer and easier, I promise you.
I have had many trials and tribulations that have made me question my own worth, including my own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. I have had extremely dark periods of my life that have included physical and psychological abuse that were out of my control and I have previously had suicidal ideations as well as a suicide attempt in my late teens. I have had to fight my own demons for many years and I fought hard to learn that I am worthy of love, I am worthy of acceptance and I am not less than.
It is important to know that transgender people are strong, resilient and intelligent. We know ourselves well enough to know who we are, what we stand for and what we believe in. Despite the endless barriers we are up against, we continue to not only survive but thrive. We are your brothers, sisters, lovers and friends. We are just like you, human and trying to find our place in the World.
I’ll be dedicating this book to my brother as he is someone that has been by my side from day one, he has watched me succeed, fail, change and grow into the woman I am today. Without his love, unconditional support and acceptance of who I am as a person, even when I didn’t accept myself, I would not be here today. To him I owe my life and he will forever be my best friend and soul mate.
I want to use my experience and journey as a tool to help others to discover their truths and be proud of who they are despite what we are up against individually and as a community. You deserve to feel truly proud of yourself, because no one should be made to feel different, feel that they are unworthy of love or be unable to live their truths based on someone else’s opinion or beliefs. If this book assist one person to live their truth, prevents them from questioning their own worth or stops them from attempting suicide then I know my journey was worth sharing.
Through my eyes and experiences, you can look forward to laughter, tears, joy, sadness and triumph. This is a story of uniqueness and strength and should not go untold.
Why? In the famous words of L’Oréal, “Because I’m Worth It”!