beyou

Remember to celebrate happiness every day. Surround yourself with positive people. Do what you can to stamp out unhappiness. Do what you love and do what makes you happy. 

6

In celebration of my New Years resolution still kicking strong_ 3 months straight [preferably mornings] going to the gym, paying off. My body has gone through massive changes & my hair is officially wild af. Apparently genetics + T gave me curly hair. & the amount of sweat I produce is unreal. Can’t wait to feel complete the most myself & complete with my up coming surgeries & continuing to be the best version of myself, daily. Never give up finding yourself.
Going through changes, but who isn’t…

I remember how jealous(?) trans timelines and before/afters always made me. Every so often in my teens and 20s I’d let my internal armour down and I’d watch every online video I could and followed every story I could find (there weren’t a lot back then). I remember feeling so impossibly unattractive and so terrified to be different. That could NEVER be me. That WASN’T me. Besides, my teens were plagued with weight issues and extreme acne that left me so self-conscious on top of everything else. Every time I tried to be honest as a young person with my feelings to parents or friends it was meant with monstrous shame and violence. I felt so far away that I ran so hard from every feeling, character trait, clothing choice, hair choice or anything at all that made me feel in any way externally projected femininity. Developed my version of what a “bad ass” was. Refined, adapted and learned to excel in that world and avoid pain. It wasn’t until I learned the value of radical self-honesty that I even started to realize what I’d done to myself. How much my brain had adapted to just implode on these thoughts and swallow them to survive. How much it has damaged my processing ability. How much I’d created this double version of reality. This character. This dulling of my emotions. Disassociation. As I’m learning to shed all the past shit, I realize that through all of this- trans timelines unequivocally gave me strength. Even though I didn’t believe it at the time cuz I felt so ugly, they gave me hope. They saved me a little bit in a way. I felt less alone. I felt less broken. I’m still in the middle of working through all this but I’m so far from who I used to be. So as uncomfortable as it feels to embrace my past self, I hope maybe it helps someone the way it helped me.

UNAPOLOGETIC AUTHENTICITY

        I struggled with self-acceptance until all I could think about was suicide. Feeling like an anomaly in a sea of normality, I could no longer look at myself in the mirror without hating my reflection.  I grew up in a time when the term “transgender” wasn’t spoken.  I didn’t know who I was or why I felt the way that I did.  The fear of rejection and being marginalized because I was “different” kept me from talking to anyone about my identity.  I buried my feelings deep inside and focused all my energy and time in sports and religion.  I slowly learned that true happiness couldn’t be found in relationships, money, popularity, or material things.  Nothing I had or could gain would make me love the person I was pretending to be.  It wasn’t until I lost the most important thing in the world to me that I realized how unfair I was being to myself and to others by not living authentically.
      Hiding your truth keeps you from giving yourself fully to anyone or anything in life.  When you let go of the fears that hold you back and find true, undaunted love for yourself, you begin to understand self-worth.  Truly letting go and being honest with yourself allows you to let go of the social stigmas of being “different.”  Knowing there is nothing wrong with you for being authentic allows you to be unapologetic to the hate and ignorance that exists in the world.  One day, one person at a time, we will change the world.

Kayla Ward