What’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010?
That’s definitely a big question. 2010 will always stand out in my mind as the year I graduated from Bryn Mawr College. Aside from it being rather an accomplishment, my graduation year should be fairly easy to remember given that I’ve spent four years with it being a core part of my college identity (Questions typically asked upon meeting someone: Name, year, major . . .).
And it is a big achievement. It capped off the four years I spent in college. Having a college degree is important in trying to find a job. If I could pick only one thing to have accomplished in 2010, it would be having graduated from college.
At the same time, as much as having graduated has immensely impacted my life and even my identity (given that being a college student was so central to who I was and how I lived my life), I’m not certain that it actually feels like my most important accomplishment. Or rather, it may be the most important on an objective level, but on a personal level, I feel it comes up in second place.
To me, coming out as trans feels, in many ways, like my most important accomplishment — and the accomplishment of which I am the most proud — of 2010. Of course, the term “coming out” is a rather nebulous thing (after all, coming out is more of a process than a one-time event). I was actually out to certain people before 2010, but 2010 was a big year for me. Instead of being out to certain people, I’m out to nearly everyone (or rather, I might be — I haven’t actually had some grand coming out moment to everyone I know, but the knowledge is definitely out there, as this blog shows), large extended family included. I’ve chosen a new name and found community with other trans folks.
Generally speaking, I feel more out than I have in the past. I don’t need to self-edit out anything trans-related on my blog. I don’t need to do all of the mental gymnastics that staying in the closet entails. I don’t spend so much time worrying about what the people I care about will think when they find out. I can, to a certain extent, focus on the rest of my life. And yet, it also allows me more freedom in exploring what being trans means for me because that hurdle of trying not to reveal too much is gone.
As I’ve written above, 2010 was a big year, full of changes that will continue to affect my life. I’m looking forward to discovering what 2011 will bring.