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I understand that for some people, it does take time to unpack the norms that have been ingrained, even if you're trans yourself or queer.
I'm still learning stuff every day too. I'm always trying to expand my horizons and I think that's the biggest thing: as long as you're moving forward, that's all one can really ask for.
I'm not asking for perfection. I'm not asking for people to understand the way I express my gender. But I do expect that if you’re going to be an ally and advocate, that you are working towards that.
I was in a smaller town just outside Eugene, Oregon, and I didn't meet a trans person till I was in my 20s. Getting out and exposing myself to different stories really helped me, and that's why I'm so open with my journey, and why I interview queer and trans athletes to get people's stories out there.
Because that's what really helps people understand our community and sometimes understand themselves.
It’s been really important for me to not be afraid to share my entire story, including parts I'm not very proud of. I don't think we ever fully come to an absolute realization – it's always a journey and I'm always learning stuff about myself and about identity.
And it's not for everyone.
Some people protest, fight legislation, and are really outspoken.
That's not for everyone in the same way that sharing your journey isn't for everyone. For some, it's a very private and personal thing that they don't have the emotional capital for.
But I happen to have that most of the time, and I do try to take care of myself.
I think that just existing as a queer person is a form of protest. Just being alive and existing, is your way of helping us move forward – whether you're outspoken about it or not. Your journey is your journey.
There is no right or wrong way. There's just your way.
[As told to @Ragi Gupta — continued tomorrow]