Tl;dr I have been blogging for a WHOLE YEAR now. The past year has been about gaining confidence and sharing my voice, and I hope for the next year to be a little more focused on listening and reflecting.
Well, fuck. I have been blogging for a whole goddamn year.
In preparation for writing this post, I went back to read my first introductory posts and found myself in tears after rereading this particular one.
It’s amazing to think about how much has changed since then.
I was going to write something about how confused and unstructured everything is now that I’m out of an educational setting, how I sometimes feel like I’ve been slipping in my art recently because I have had to put so much of my energy Elsewhere, or how I feel like I have less of a right to be keeping this blog now that I no longer put up with being the only out trans dancer at a dance program Every Single Day of my life…
But, after reading that, I just want to share a little bit of what keeping this blog has done for me and how I hope to continue it in the future.
A year ago, I was surrounded by people that felt like enemies. I felt like I was going into battle every single day, but that I wasn’t allowed to behave like I was in a battle. I was silenced and frustrated and angry. Even when I had some very strong and wonderful allies helping me, I felt alone. At the end of the day, I was still the only trans person in that space. I’d then run off to my queer community at the time and expect them to give me all the love and respect I wasn’t getting at school, which is a lot to ask of any person, no matter how much I needed those things.
Publishing this blog was the thing that allowed me to break out of this cycle. In all fairness, it was mostly my community and my lovely, amazing friends reading it in the beginning. Still, the message I constantly heard as I wrote was that I was writing something worth reading. I fought hard to be heard at my school, but I had to eventually accept that it would not happen. By then, it was ok, because I had found other ways to be heard: my art, and this blog.
Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit like a fraud because my blog posts have been a little less about being a trans dancer and broader in terms of gender theory and artistic practice. I keep blogging anyways because I’ve been struggling a lot with not having a structure. This is my first year completely out of education and not having deadlines, assessment criteria, and supervisors (no matter how much they annoy me) has left me feeling aimless and unclear. I keep churning out blog posts not so much to vent frustrations and tackle complexities, but to have one single thing in my life operate on a schedule and with a system.
And yet, recently, I’ve noticed this blog reaching a wider audience. A few of my last posts seem to have really touched a whole bunch of trans people that aren’t my friends (and thus obligated to like the nonsense I write). It’s been both heartening and terrifying.
I have always believed that if I can make a positive difference for one single person then I have done my job in the world. In seeing some of the responses I have gotten to this blog in the past year, it’s clear that I have touched many more people than that. And people have touched me back.
In particular, the number of “me too”s I have gotten from my posts on body image and fitness have been such a good reminder that I am not alone and that this shit is Fucking Hard. I need to remember that a lot.
This past year has been about making a voice for myself and learning to trust it, it’s been about being brave and saying things I’m scared to say, and it’s also been about loudly saying something before I’m really ready to say it. I needed that, and I want to thank every single person that has helped me on this journey (and has been patient when I got things wrong).
But now that I’m here, now that I truly believe that my voice matters, now that I have learned to value myself and to speak my mind, I think it’s time to take a step back. I’m not going to stop blogging, I enjoy it too much, but I do want to open myself up to listening more. I want to truly reflect on the multitude of perspectives that make up our community and I want to enhance that in a meaningful way.
Now that I have confidence, I want to find humility.
I want to truly be part of the amazingly beautiful greater queer community.
Because, I was alone when I started writing this blog, and I don’t have to be alone anymore. And I want to be open for that.
I’m not quite sure what that means practically, just yet. I think it includes less overall posts that include more research behind them. I think it includes expanding on, and strengthening the quality of my monthly linkspams. I think it means asking more questions and sharing less opinions. I don’t know yet. We’ll find out in the next year!