I have heard several definitions of “fear”, but this is what rings most true to me:
Fear is the anticipation of negative consequences generally due to False Evidence Appearing Real.
In my view, fear is like a shard of broken glass. It is inherently dangerous, and if treated without caution and thoughtful purpose, will most likely hurt us. However, if handled properly it can be a useful tool and even protect us. Some have also taken this further and learned to turn it into art meant to inspire others by relating beauty, transparency, change and tranquility.
A recent encounter with personal fear lead me to a question. After thinking through my past, I came to an understanding of it.
Is it safer/better to live in fear and hide from it? Or with fear and confront it?
I, like most transgender people I know, had a sense very early in my life that I was different. I didn’t feel quite right in my body or in the role I thought I was expected to fill in society due to the gender I was born with. I was a girl who was born a boy. I was afraid. If I were found out, people would hate, shun, and hurt me because I was a girl that was born a boy. I was a very observant child. The evidence I began to gather of how people would treat me if I were to break with societies norms was generally negative. Growing up in Los Angeles, I had known, and was no stranger to other LGBTQ+ people. But for all the smiles and laughter, I saw more sorrow and tears. There always seemed to be more of a downside than an upside, which was a barricade in expressing my true sense of self.
After leaving home and venturing out into the world, I lived in places, which did not have a lot of LGBTQ+ presence. My desires to express my femininity were suppressed even more by my fear to the point of turning into a hermit. I was to