Well, How Did I Get Here?

It all just kind of happened. In a way, it’s been happening my whole life, long before I was even aware it was happening. Then once I was finally aware it was happening, it continued to happen very slowly. Lately it’s been happening much more quickly, and though it will continue happening indefinitely, most of it has already happened.

Left: One of my last moments with short hair and a beard, Summer 2015; Right: On my way to work at the public library, October 2020

I’m referring to my transition from someone you’d typically call a boy or a guy or a man toward someone a lot more feminine. I may not necessarily be someone you’d call a girl or a lady or a woman either, but I’m certainly closer to that end of the spectrum. You could call me trans because I don’t feel like I belong to the gender that typically goes with my biological sex. (You can still call me dude because I still feel like one, and because I’m all for the Broad City-style expansion of dude into a gender-neutral term of endearment.)

And of course, you can still call me Joe, which I have always preferred 1000% over Joseph. All my official documents still call me Joseph and I can live with that, mainly because I don’t need the hassle of all that paperwork. It’s hard enough for me to deal with filling out “Change of Address” forms.

The pronouns that fit me best are they, them, their, etc. Please don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while for you to get used to that. I still forget from time to time, on the rare occasion that I need to refer to myself in the third person. All I ask is that you try to remember and respect that. If you do, however, actively refuse to respect that, then please, by all means, beat yourself up.

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