The Search for Life in the Transgender Universe

I finally did it. I had just come out to everyone I knew. I announced to the world that I am transgender. After a lifetime of fighting myself over who I really was, I decided to face the fears that had been with me for as long I could remember.

I was at the beginning of a journey and I did not know where it would take me. I was free from the self-imposed cage of fear I had created for myself, but as I started to settle in to my new life I was overcome with a feeling of loneliness as I began to wonder, was I alone in this universe?

“HERE I WAS, READY TO EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING FOR THE FIRST TIME THROUGH MY OPENED EYES, BUT I REALIZED I REALLY DIDN’T KNOW ANYONE LIKE MYSELF.”

For years I had closed myself off from the world and the life that I was living. Now all of a sudden I had this desire to exist. It was honestly something that I never experienced as I was used to constantly running away from who I was and everything in my life imploding. Here I was, ready to experience everything for the first time through my opened eyes, but I realized I really didn’t know anyone like myself. Yes I had met many transgender people in my lifetime, but I had been closed off from the world for so long. I had all these thoughts and feelings going on, but no one to share it with who would truly understand what I was going through. I started to wonder where everyone was and how to find them. I wondered how many of us were really out there, so I set off on a new journey. I began to write.

It was a year ago this week that I wrote my first rant for Transgender Universe. I thought by sharing my journey and transitioning openly that someone out there might respond. I didn’t know if it would go anywhere and honestly I didn’t care. I had a longing to be a part of a community and I was determined to find my own kind. I really did not know where to look so I decided I would do everything I could to help build one. For me it started with a story about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson as I wondered if the transgender community was being left behind in the fight for equality and acceptance. The truth was that I didn’t know where that “community” I was speaking about actually was.

“I BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND WHO AND WHAT I WAS, WHILE REALIZING I WAS A PART OF SOMETHING THAT WAS MUCH BIGGER THAN MYSELF.”

I can look back now and realize how naive I was when I wrote that first article, but over time a strange thing happened. People did begin to respond. Along with it I started to grow and learn as people shared their stories with me. They would point out when I was wrong and help me understand things when I didn’t. Week after week more people would reach out, sharing their thoughts and opinions. I began to understand who and what I was, while realizing I was a part of something that was much bigger than myself. I was a part of a community. It did exist and I was on my way to finding everyone.

Today I couldn’t imagine not being a writer for Transgender Universe. I couldn’t imagine not talking with all the readers who come here or being without this great community we are all a part of. As I wish Transgender Universe a happy first birthday, I cannot do so without thanking all of you who are reading this. Thank you for letting me be here every week and for your comments, thoughts and your wonderful stories. Thank you for helping me along in my own journey and always keeping me honest. I realize though I have come so far in this past year, I still have so much to learn and experience. So many stories yet to tell. I have become more determined than ever to find everyone and I will not stop until I do so. And though I realize that may take a lifetime, I learned that nothing will happen in life unless you take that first step and try. We are stronger in numbers and there is nothing we can’t do if we all do it together. I learned that my journey is still just beginning and more importantly, that I am not alone in the universe. I am a part of a wonderful community that is bigger and more diverse than I ever could have imagined, and I am thankful just to be a part of it.

Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us,

Love and peace,

Mila Madison

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