acceptance, embracing fears, faith, fear, feeling, ftm, homornal therapy, hope.loyalty, lgbti, lgbticommunity, love, medical transition, miles tanhira, movement. human rights defenders, religion, self, self and fear, society, surgery, testestorone, transbrother, transition, transman
Growing up i was made to believe that fear is a terrible feeling to embrace, let alone express. I was constantly hammered with idioms, bible verses songs and examples of how fear can lead to ‘all forms of paralysis.’
Consequently I came to believe that fear is a sign of weakness, evidence of not having faith, thus being the biblical doubting Thomas. These negative connotations inculcated the feeling that fear is disgusting and its to be shunned and not shared.
I can recall a number of times where i was scared but the two most painful ones that come to mind are the night i watched my mother breath her last, The night a close friend got raped at gunpoint, yet on both these painful encounters showing my fear would have made me appear selfish because there were people who needed me to be strong for them..
Even as an activist, i can also remember being very scared most times. Being at the forefront of an LGBTI movement in a homophobic environment admitting to being scared was a ‘exasperating sign of vulnerability’. Fear was frowned upon and even punishable, I remember facing disciplinary action for fleeing arrest during a violent police raid, again expressing fear and admitting to feeling vulnerable made me face the music..
I’ve also heard some harsh remarks were activists accuse others of being ‘sellouts’ or cowards for deciding to stay in the diaspora , they believe that this is akin to ‘fleeing from the battlefield’, and abandoning the movement’. This is off course not true because in movements people fight from different fronts.
From all my experiences what i have learnt is that once you exhibit fear derogatory names thrown are spewed at you, your loyalty is questioned and you are judged left right and centre.
I must admit that this can be difficult to cope with, so often the temptation is to conceal the feelings sadly sometimes make hurried, premature decisions just to follow the pack.
But I am scared….
without fear there cannot be courage..Chistopher Paolin
I am scared about so many things but mostly concerning my transition process. I am scared about going under the knife, injecting T and the post T period, the what if’s and the uncertainties yet I am also scared of being invisible..
A trans brother told me if you are scared it means you don’t want it badly, because if you did then you wouldn’t have to think twice let alone fear anything. I don’t know about this, but what i know is i am slowly making peace with the fact that all my fears will not disappear because i have medically transitioned, i also acknowledge that new fears may arise as a result of that process. I now believe that what matters the most is not that you are afraid, but how you face the fears.
I have faith, i am loyal and hopeful but i still have fears.. I am not yet there, but i am learning to unashamedly embrace my fears as they arise, For now ill keep my head high, show and share my fears because, fear makes me feel alive, i also know that if it wasn’t for fear i wouldn’t be here…