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Lions Roar : January 2018
that arose, without judgment. Observing rather than dismissing questions of phys- ical transition, I felt immediate peace. It suddenly became far more important to me to learn about myself than to resolve the question of physical transition. What arose surprised me: I found that multiple shadow selves had physical loca- tions overlaying and inside my physical body. I had mastered shape-shifting to be able to “see” my male “self ” while passing as female virtually everywhere. I knew life only in a bifurcated self-sense of materi- alized/not-materialized personhood, and I could not imagine otherwise. Eight months of intensive, embodied meditation practice showed me that there was no objective judgment about whether taking testosterone would be a good thing or a bad thing for me, just as being transgender or being anything else is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Only experience could tell me if testos- terone felt right. This realization brought another con- gruence so compelling that, even with prescription in hand, I wanted just to observe and enjoy this too, in no hurry to be anywhere other than where I was. Many months later, I started a low dose of topical testosterone, allowing me to navigate and define transition at my own pace. In this life of transformation, I now feel an unprecedented, unimaginable coherence and ease. For the first time in my life, I make sense to myself. All the shadows have integrated—there is just one of me, and it’s the one I’ve known my whole life. Others still misgender me about half of the time, but I can more easily stay solid and present. No longer racing away, I listen deeply, to myself and others. Regardless of how my body changes, regardless of the social and legal prohibi- tions, I am transgender. I’m not trying to get to some imagined other place. I’m exactly where I need to be, everchanging and present in a nonbinary form. I’m not “in between” anything. I’m just here. ♦ LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2018 21 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE