How to be Brave as a Transgender Woman
How does one become brave? Is it a learned behavior; is it something we can tap into? Or is it just something a person is born with? I want to know how to be brave.
Last week, a friend of mine on Facebook — who is also trans — asked, “How do I live my life without fear?” And I thought, “Honey, if you ever find out, let me know. Ok?”
But the more I thought about this question, a parable came to me…
The tale of the two wolves.
Basically, a grandfather tells his son that we each have two wolves inside us, fighting for dominance.
One is love, kindness and bravery. The other hatred, greed and fear.
The grandson asks, “Which one is stronger; which one wins, in the end?”
And the grandfather says, “The one you feed.”
In other words, if you allow hatred, greed and fear to thrive within you, you will become a hateful, greedy person, afraid of everything around you.
So how do you starve one and feed the other? I have a slightly different solution. Rather than seeking to eliminate fear, understand it. Do not learn fearlessness; learn bravery.
Learn how to be brave
I believe that fear can be useful. A healthy amount of fear can help us to avoid dangerous obstacles and bad situations. Too little fear and we foolishly wander into dangerous situations that can get us killed. Too much fear and we become crippled by our own emotions.
Fear can heighten our senses. In the right environment and with the right attitude, fear can either become excitement or terror. Fear can actually help us achieve a kind of “joie de vivre.” Hence, why people, like me, love roller coasters and going too fast. I find them exciting; other people find them terrifying.
The secret to learning how to be brave is to tackle small fears, one step at a time. As a transgender woman, the idea of going outside in a female presentation was terrifying, because I didn’t know what to expect.
Each day, I ventured out further and further. I’d go shopping, or I’d go to work. I’d go for long walks. Each day, I would push myself a little further and become braver and braver, until I learned how to be brave and what to expect of the world when I went out.
Being transgender, at first, was terrifying because I believed a lot of lies. But soon, it became exciting. And these days, it just is. I feel, at least in this respect, that I did it. I learned how to be brave as a transgender woman. And I believe you can, too!