A year ago I shared this on social media knowing in that moment exactly what my truth was – I am trans. Realizing this was no different than knowing that I had green eyes. It was quite simply a part of who I am. Accepting and acknowledging this didn’t happen as quickly or assuredly. It would be a few more months before I began accepting and giving voice to who I was.

The last couple of weeks we’ve hiked up mountains and climbed a bazillion stairs to the top of a waterfall and I couldn’t help thinking about how much these ascents reminded me of my gender journey thus far.

The stairs were a more direct route but almost torturous. Every time we reached a plateau there was yet another set to climb.

The mountain was full of winding paths, unexpected obstacles and switchbacks.

My trek into understanding my gender identity and labels has paralleled these adventures in many ways.

Just when I think I’ve climbed to the top I’ve only reached a plateau where I may feel content to rest for a while but eventually I need to push myself to discover more.

Sometimes I come up against obstacles such as fear, confusion and my own preconceived notions.

Preconceived notion – a personal belief or judgement that is not founded on proof or certainty.

Preconceived notions about gender roles and stereotypes have been the nemesis of my transition. In the beginning, I was so incredibly hung up on stereotypes that my own thoughts created impassable roadblocks to becoming my true self.

Growing up in a binary world, I had ideals of what it meant to be a man. You didn’t have emotions other than anger, this was my first misguided assumption and a stumbling block to accepting myself as trans. I am an emotion filled person, I am sensitive. I am a great big cry baby. I rarely get angry and I am not aggressive. I don’t have the temper that all the men I knew had.

The other major misconception that I had about myself is that I always knew above anything else, my deepest longing was to be a mom. How on earth could I ever reconcile being a mother and being a man. Talk about a mountain of a problem that could never be conquered.

Over this past year I’ve had to completely deconstruct what it means to be a man and what it means to be a mom.

I’ve come to accept that I’m a sensitive soul who feels everything too deeply and that’s ok. Feelings and emotions aren’t inherently male or female they are simply feelings and emotions.

Unraveling and rebuilding what it means to be a parent is taking more time and effort, but I’m getting there.

Being out in nature and watching my kids navigate the climbs and obstacles over these past two weeks has given me a renewed sense of determination to keep scaling my mountains and continue pushing myself to the next level of growth and understanding.

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