The Christmas holidays are a time for reflection. In the midst of all the chaos and effort to have a “Hallmark” holiday with the perfect gifts, I find myself thinking about my life, where do I fit in and what really is important to me. This was more apparent this year since my father recently had a heart attack that almost killed him. He is recovering slowly, yet it is a reminder of just how fragile life is and how our lives can change in a split-second.
We don’t have time in our lives to not be our authentic selves and follow our own path. All we have in life is our own journey, our special journey which is a gift. This gift should not be wasted on pleasing everyone, but ourselves. We need to accept ourselves for who we are, not cater to people who have their own plans for our lives.
This is the very reason I have been involved with the transgender and gender fluid communities for the past 6 years. I have always felt that these groups have been largely misunderstood, criticized and made fun of, just because they were attempting to be the person they are, the person they self-identity with. Who are we to say they are not “authentic”?
Our society is filled with alternative lifestyles, political views, and a varying degree of tolerance of those who disagree with us or have different views of what is the right way to live our lives. Yet, there is no correct way to live life as we all have our own journey. And as long as we don’t take away others freedom and lives, we should be able to do what we want to live our life to the fullest.
I interviewed a dynamic transgender woman, Maryanne Marttini, who is living her life as her authentic self after years of hiding her identity. A successful interior designer and furniture seller, she is now doing stand-up comedy focusing on her life as an aging transgender woman. Her hope is to help others feel comfortable with the transgender community and yes, perhaps even accept them. Check out my interview with her at https://soundcloud.com/user-333495048/shades-of-gender-s1e9
Happy Holidays to you all and may the acceptance of ourselves lead to acceptance of others!