Girl About to Be Born

| May 7, 2018

As I write these words, I am twenty-nine days from going public as Claire. I’ve come out to a still small, but growing group of people, and the amount of affirmation and support I’ve received has been amazing.

“You finally get to live in your own skin,” said one friend. How right she is.

Even people who I thought might be hostile have turned out to merely be indifferent. They greet the news with a shrug and say they don’t really understand it, but if this is what I need to do. . . .

Some of my external signs of gender expression have already been changing. It’s been more than five months since my last haircut, and I’ve washed the gray right out of my hair (with the help of my stylist), replacing the white streaks with a copper red. I’ve been sporting acrylic nails for months, experimenting with one color of polish after another — from sparkly pink to purple to green. My ears are pierced.

But as one colleague said, it’s not nail polish or breasts that make a woman. She’s right, too.

So what makes someone a woman? I have been thinking about that question for the past fifty years, and quite intensely for the past several months. I think the best way I can sum it up is this — if the world perceives you as a woman, and treats you as one, than you are. If you believe yourself to a woman, than you are.

I am woman, hear me roar.

If anything has helped me feel more confident about my womanhood, and has helped confirm that my path is the current one, it’s eleven weeks of hormone replacement therapy.

Physical changes? Not too noticeable, yet. My breasts are a bit perkier, and the nipples are standing at alert all the time, which is nice. But what’s really stunning is the changes inside of me.

It started during week four and has intensified every day since. I’ve experienced a sense of rightness, of being grounded, and confidence that I’ve never known before. Then, about week seven, something else amazing happened.

I’ve slept poorly since I was a child. Now I’m sleeping better than I ever have in my life. I’m not sure if it’s the estrogen, my sense of inner peace, or some combination of both, but I’ll take it.

I’ve told a couple of women friends that we ought to put this wonder drug in the water supply. I think we’d have a happier and more peaceful world if we did.

This is a rebirth, in so many ways. The words of Juno Dawson, a trans woman who writes young adult fiction and recently published a memoir, encapsulate my feelings so nicely:

“I spent so many long years imaging life as a girl. Now I’m alive.”

Now I’m about to be born. At last.

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Category: Body & Soul

About the Author ()

Claire H. was born and grew up in a large city on the left coast and has spent most of her adult years in a beautiful small coastal community where she's now an elected official in local government after spending many years as a newspaper and radio reporter. In her space time she loves reading, writing fiction (her first novel was published by a regional press a couple of years ago), watching classic Hollywood movies, and walking.

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