It’s really interesting being a late-blooming queer person, particularly as transmasculine. I didn’t even know that was something I COULD be until I was in my 40s. There was always a not-quite-belonging in my body. A subtle thing that hid behind the culturalized judgment and shame of women’s bodies. “Of course I’m not comfortable in my body, no one is. I’m not tall, thin, pretty, etc. enough.” When I knowingly met a trans man for the first time when I was 40, even with his openness about being transmasculine, it still didn’t click, “Hey, that could be me.”
It didn’t click when I couldn’t explain why I wept uncontrollably when Elliot Page came out (“I’m just so happy for him!”). It didn’t click when I was overwhelmed with pride seeing Mitch Harrison on national television in the Titan Games (“What an amazing queer athlete!”). It didn’t click when I would stare at myself in the mirror, confused why my face looked like a man’s.
When I finally figured it out at 43 (a whole other story featuring GQ Fitness model Ben Melzer), a light suddenly shined across 30 years of my life, saying, “Well THAT all makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it?” Madison has been a beautiful place to come into my trans identity. The local queer community and groups like OPEN have been amazing resources, and I’m so grateful. I wish everyone could come out to as supportive, welcoming, and affirming spaces as I have