What Happened?

When I came across this sketchbook page I gasped out loud and almost cried. It’s a document of me struggling with holding onto Robyn 1.0. “Remember what you were. Remember ROBYN.”


I have a lot of this sort of thing: Sketchbook pages and writings where I’m bemoaning my lack of productivity and focus and trying to berate or inspire myself to some bold action. It’s really very tedious. It all boils down to “NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, a character defect I would identify and drumbeat all through my 12 Step years. Nothing’s ever good enough so you stop trying and let it die. And then you REALLY have a problem.

I wish I had learned to be okay with Robyn’s limitations, to be okay with being an imperfect artist, an imperfect person. Just keep at it and get a little bit better until before you know it everything has changed. And my gosh, being pretty at 25 ain’t no trick. I just couldn’t couldn’t get out of my way. Negative thinking dragged me down, alcohol and overeating damaged my body and I became to too depressed to do the work it took to be Robyn. “Shave Honey” he says….and then some!

I wish I had known more about hormones and had the easy access to them we do now. A good testosterone blocker would have taken care of most of those cosmetic problems. But in 1994 it was a harder road and I didn’t have the will to fight that fight.

When I started transition at age 46 I had so many limitations and the first thing I told myself was to do the best I could with what I had and go forward and be an imperfect woman. It didn’t matter because I was so happy to be free at last. Any little glimpse I saw of the Robyn I felt inside made me swell with joy and I was surprisingly able to ignore all of the features that gave it away.

Then I just started chipping away at it: Hormones were so easy to get  you could skin your knee and they’d hand you a script for estradiol. Laser hair removal cleared my beard shadow rapidly and permanently while testosterone blockers thinned the carpet of masculine hair on my body. My hair slowly grew out, I got better at my style and within six months I was living full time without much trouble. In my estimation I was a funny looking woman, but THAT’S TOTALLY OKAY to be that.

After a lifetime of being so fucking HARD on myself that nothing good could happen I was simply letting myself BE as imperfectly as I could and wondrous things happened. I’ve had a lot of resources and advantages to have a successful transition, I’ve endured multiple surgeries and hours of painful electrolysis to make myself more what I feel I should be, but I’ve also been very happy at each step of the way. I am privileged and  haven’t had as many negative consequences in coming out as some of my trans peers, but I am still really grateful that I just kept moving forward and cherished each step along the way.

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