2021 was a year of many firsts in my gender transition. I came out to someone for the first time. I left my apartment and went places in girl-mode for the first time. I changed my name legally and got an updated driver’s license. I came out at work and started presenting as a woman at work. I started presenting and living as a woman full-time. In only a year, I have gone from being completely closeted to living and presenting full-time as a woman.
The biggest change in 2021 was definitely coming out. I started my transition secretly in 2020, with the intention of coming out after my medical transition was complete in 2022. This did not happen. By early 2021, I was no longer confident in my ability to hide my transition from people who knew me. This, along with a desire to share what was going on in my life with someone else, prompted my to come out to my sister. This went extremely well and a few weeks later I came out to my best friend. I didn’t come out to anyone else for another two months, when I spoke to HR about transitioning at work. This really was the tipping point. In the next 6 weeks, I got a legal name change, came out to my entire family, started leaving my aparment in girl-mode, and ultimately came out at work. Now, I am living as a woman full-time.
Despite this amazing progress in my transition, this was not the easiest year for me. I was laid off at the beginning of the year and spent over 5 months unemployed. Fortunately, I was able to collect expanded unemployment, but this period still put a significant strain on my finances. Losing my insurance was especially difficult, as it meant I had to pay for all of my transition expenses completely out of pocket. This was also a tough year for my mental health. There were a lot of stressors this year that put a strain on my mental health. Unemployment, the ongoing pandemic, hormone issues, and the stress of coming out all put a strain on my emotional and mental health. I am doing better now, but there were some rough periods this year.
Honestly, I am suprised by how far I have come in my transition in only a year. At the start of this year I had no intention of coming out. Now, I am living and presenting as a woman full-time. Despite some ups and downs, it went pretty smoothly as well. Nobody reacted overly negatively to me coming out and my job took it quite well. I am feeling better mentally and physically than I ever have. For the first time in my life, I am living unapologetically as myself.