The thing about running, is that its a form of a therapy for me. The first mile or two is all about getting into that “runners high”, but once I’m far enough in that everything hurts, my chest is on fire and my hips (and everything else) aches, thats when I get hit with real moments of clarity. And so it was last night, a moment just like that when I realized: Ive been taking estrogen for almost two years now, and yet, the voice inside my head is still resoundingly male.

For almost two years Ive been labelling myself as a trans woman, but barely taking any real steps. I elevate other transwomen that I look up to onto these pedestals, and without even thinking about it consciously I somehow came to the conclusion that I’ll never quite be able to reach those heights. Ive been inactively being trans, without ‘doing’ trans, as Torrey Peters words it in her book “Detransition, Baby.” The thought of living my life completely as a woman, of womanhood being my new normal seems so far away, unreachable, despite my friends and family telling me that I do indeed look like a woman at this point.

I simply havent been taking the necessary steps. I barely voice train, I use makeup maybe twice a month, I always dress masculine and in layers to hide my feminine body at work. Ive been hiding. Its no wonder that my true internal voice is afraid to speak up. Ive been repressing her, the same feminine spirit that I hid for 30 years. I may be a bit nicer to her now but I still hide her. And thats why Im here, thats why Im actively seeking support groups and LGBT spaces. I need to learn to let her out, I need to embrace the real me, and actively begin taking steps, be it walking or running, to live my life as myself, the woman that Ive been hiding from all this time.

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