For me, being trans is quite ambiguous. People often ask questions like ‘How do you know that you’re trans?’ or ‘When did you realise that you were trans?’ but I am not sure that these questions always have specific answers. Being trans, for me personally, is most of all about rejecting the roles and expectations that have been imposed on me from birth just because of my body. Because of this, I think that trans people are not only courageous but creative, since being trans often provokes us to completely rethink who we are, how we present, and who we want to be. The trans author Paul Preciado described his transition as ‘a way out’ — from the confines of gender norms, the pressures to conform with standards that don’t fit you, and so on — and I think this is right, but I also see being trans as a way in to a future where gender is not so restrictive, so limiting, and so oppressive. We cannot completely imagine the future, but the very act of expressing ourselves as trans people is a way of showing that the future is still possible.
Of course, every trans person is different, and has different experiences. At the same time, we all have something in common insofar as we all feel some disconnect from the ideas of gender that are imposed upon us. This is why being part of the trans community is so important to me; I think my life would be incredibly different if I didn’t know so many other trans people. When there is a shared struggle in a community, there is also a shared language, awareness, sense of humour, and a shared joy. Being part of a trans community, as opposed to just being trans on my own, really changed my whole outlook on who I am and who I’m allowed to be. It’s something I’m very grateful for.