Navigating Practical Reality

Silhouette of a person standing against night starry sky in the mountains with a lamp in their hand

It would be great, if under any circumstances, we could say exactly how we feel, set any boundaries we need to set, and be completely authentic in our lives at every moment. The reality is that for many people, including a lot of trans and gender expansive people, we have to balance our own inner desires for communication or boundaries, with the practical realities that keep us alive and safe.

For example, right now, because of the pandemic, many people are sheltering in place with parents or relatives. And these folks may or may not be supportive of your gender. I’ve heard several stories of people who have basically put their transition on hold because they have to live with/shelter in place with parents who are not supportive, or they are not sure they would be supportive if they knew.

In other situations, some people need to navigate relationships where they are economically dependent on another. Or they are still living with a spouse/partner who isn’t very supportive, but there aren’t any good alternatives right now. For some people, depending on where they live, being out and gender-nonconforming leaves them open to violence, and they have to balance their safety with authentically living their lives.

What’s most important, is being kind to yourself. In some situations, not fully being authentic with everyone is an act of self-care. It’s understanding the practical realities, accepting things as they are now, and knowing you are working toward a different reality.

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