Transgender Journey: Letting Go, Being Honest, and Being True


Lee HulmeThis is going to be my final post on Ms in the Biz. I’ve been writing here since close to the beginning, and I’ve watched this site and the contributors grow and grow. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of it.

So why am I leaving? I’m starting a gender transition from female to male, which unfortunately takes away my qualifications to post here.

But we all know that sometimes doing what you need to do means reaching out and grasping that thing, even when you know it’ll cost you something else – because what you gain will outweigh that cost.

Letting go

Since beginning the true journey last year of daring to understand who I am and what I need, a journey which has been many years in the making, I’ve counted the costs. I’ve counted them in friends and family lost, because they’re in a place where they’re unable to properly accept, deal and cope with what I’m both telling them, and asking of them. Sometimes you just have to be willing to understand those who are unable to accompany you on your journey, and hope they’ll one day be able to catch up.

It’s good to know what you’re risking, in being true to yourself, but you can’t let it stop you from doing what you need to do. This holds true in life, in work, in love, and in making films. Look critically at what you need to do, and make the sacrifice necessary to do it. Trying to keep everybody else happy can only happen at the expense of the happiness you also deserve.

Not that it’s easy to step back, let go, and allow someone to be unhappy, or angry, or hurt, because of what you need; but don’t let someone else tell you it’s selfish to do that. You have to take care of yourself, as well as others.

Being honest

There’s something else which is as important, though: you need to be willing to admit that you’re afraid, that you’re sad over what you have lost or might lose. Not necessarily to everyone, you don’t need to broadcast it to the world, but you need to express it to someone.

I didn’t enter this transition without knowing that I would lose some people, and be hurt by that loss. I struggle with the anger and the pain that those losses cause me. I also knew that there would always be people ready to go out of their way to judge me, or try to offend me.

I can walk away from it, but I can’t ever pretend it doesn’t hurt to be ridiculed.

As people working in the arts, a profession often ridiculed by others, this applies to you, too. Learn to walk away, but never try to tell yourself it doesn’t hurt when it does.

Find the people who can share that hurt with, don’t let it build up into something bigger – find a way to release it, take a deep breath, and carry on.

Being true

In the end the thing that really matters is that you were true to yourself, and what you needed. That includes your career, your health, your loved ones, your hobbies, and your identity. Be true even when it’s hard, and you’ll be better in every way.