Well written and moving — kudos once again Rachel!
It is funny: while I really never suffered from severe gender dysphoria — it was always a kind of wistfulness about not being the female “better self” I perceived myself to be — I often had occasional bouts of “internalized transphobia.” I would marshal up all my willpower to deny that perception. “I like women, ergo I can’t be trans!” I would tell myself. It took me a long time — and many wardrobes bought and then thrifted — to realize how ridiculous that was. I came to realize that being genderfluid and then trans, was NOT a choice, no matter what anyone says. The choice is in letting go and acknowledging who you are, and following through as you see fit and at your own pace. The choice is in not keeping a toxic secret anymore.
I am better for it. Everyone tells me that as Laura I smile a lot more…..