How do you know?

Recently someone asked, not of me in particular but in general, what if we are wrong about transgender. For that question, there is a mounting supply of medical evidence. Such questions are only asked by the uninformed or the haters. But there is a corollary to that question, how do you know you are transgender.

I think doubt is a part of the human experience. How many movies have you seen where the bride, or groom, gets cold feet right before the wedding. Usually, they make up in the end and for sure those are just movies. But they touch us because there is some reality in them, people do have doubt, especially when making big commitments.

While it is hard to measure how big one commitment is compared to another I think we all would agree concluding that you are trans and moving in that direction is a big commitment. But how do you know, how can you be so sure as to dissolve all of the doubt.

Just like in our movies, how does the one with cold feet know she is in love? For young couples often love is very intense, but even for them, it isn’t always a constant. How do you know? You look to those times when it is so crystal clear when every fiber of your body screams I love this person. I had one such experience the other day.

After months of struggling with multiple bureaucracies, I finally got my driver’s license to have the correct gender marker on it. No big deal, they just change one letter from an “M” to an “F”. But in that little change, every fiber of my body screamed this is me.

I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops. I wanted the whole world to know this is ME. Because in our society that little piece of paper has so much control over your life. In so many situations it tells the world who you are. When it says something that isn’t true you are forced to be seen as someone you are not.

It is a constant case of mistaken identitly. It is telling the world a lie every time you pull it out, a lie not of your choosing but one that is forced upon you by a society, a system, that often puts more value in a piece of paper than who they see standing in front of them.

But that lie is over now. I can now present that little card when I need to without fear of confusion and questions. I can present it now know that it confirms who I am.

How do I know I am trans, by the fact that such a small change is so huge. Because that little change brought such relief and joy to me that at times I could barely contain all of the emotions churning inside of me. Because in moments like that every fiber of my being screams this is me.