You are a hero. The trans journey is unique.
The Hero’s journey is a structure upholding many myths and stories, including modern novels. The hero is in the ordinary world, uncomfortable because of some stress, or unaware. Something forces him (bear with me) to face the beginnings of change, but he initially refuses, then meets a mentor or finds courage within himself. He leaves the ordinary world into a place with unfamiliar rules and values. He is tested, and finds friends. He meets the major challenge, death or his greatest fear, and from overcoming it finds new life. He returns to the ordinary world, with the means to redeem it.
Maureen Murdock described a heroine’s journey- an active, not passive heroine- starting with separating from the feminine, and entering a masculine-defined sphere. Her success is where the hero’s journey would end, but she feels arid, lifeless without the feminine. She reclaims feminine attributes but from a new perspective, and heals the wounded masculine within her. She integrates masculine and feminine.
Some trans folk are conscious of being trans from childhood, but gynephile trans women are often in denial, fleeing to clichéd extreme masculinity. Transition is liberation, as we become the ultra-feminine within. After, we integrate our experiences as man and as woman, and move from understanding we gleaned from others to our own understanding. As we mature we become truly ourselves.
In changing between the two, we model freedom from gendered constraints for everyone. Then we integrate the two, modelling a more complete and whole way of being human. We move from fear, rejection, imitation to realisation of ourselves. I am not “a trans woman”- I am Clare.
Life is contingent and random. There is no satisfying narrative arc, but a succession of incidents; no easily summarised character, but responses to circumstances. And, trans folk unite men’s and women’s experiences and responses, bringing unique sensibility and potential for empathy; and show what human beings can be.