More Than Just a Woman

In the process of my transition, I went through each of these identities in series: from man, to feminine man, to gender fluid, to non-binary, to agender, to woman.

There is an obvious pattern to the order of succession, but it could only be disclosed to me in retrospect from the more comprehensive vantage point afforded by the later phases: there was a gradual dis-identification with the gender assigned to me at birth and progressive re-identification of what I felt to be my true gender. So far as concerns the actual, living process of “concrescence” or coming-together of my own being, there was never a quantitative jump from one discrete position to another but a continuous unfolding of phase transitions overlapping and including each other.

Each succeeding phase includes and transcends its antecedent phases, such that by the end, the identity woman is felt to inclusively transcend every other in one integral unity of feeling. Part of what made it difficult for me to identify as a woman in the earlier phases of my transition process was precisely my ignorance of the nature of womanhood as that which inclusively transcends every other position, along with the correlative ignorance of the fact that manhood is open-empty and thus includes within itself the potential to be something else.

Although it appears as though I had moved from one side of a binary opposition to the other, mediated by a series of intermediate phases, in actuality my transition consisted of the gradual realization that there never was, never is, and never could be a real binary, only polarities held in dynamic contrast, with varying degrees of emphasis placed on either pole depending on the circumstance of the individual’s personal history, socio-historical context, and need for self-realization — all of which are subject to constant change, moment to moment.

Rather than giving up one state in favor of another, womanhood has allowed me the possibility to embody every state in a progressive series of unfolding experiences. Far from being one part of a binary couple, womanhood holds within itself the possibility for the free play of differences without the loss of coherent identity — which is quite a miraculous being to be.

Since my transition to womanhood has forced me to reckon with not only gender but above all the nature of process itself, it has been a profoundly spiritual journey of recognizing the indivisible complimentary unity of the open-emptiness of reality-as-achieved-fact (who I have been) and the inclusively transcending nature of reality-as-realizing-value (who I will come to be), through the gateway of my own lived experience. Since everything in the entire manifold universe of holographic reality is open-empty, everything is possible, and within this infinite plenum of possibility lies the freedom to choose one’s destiny, for worse (by simply reproducing the past) or for better (by realizing the inclusive transcendence of the future).

Lastly it must be noted that each “phase,” indicated by its own label, is only realized to be what it is and to possess the name proper to it as an effect of identification, which can only happen after the process of realizing that phase to its completion has already occurred. Concrete becoming precedes, exceeds and succeeds any abstract being that may be identified in the process. With this knowledge I know that, although my process of transition so far has finally culminated in a complete satisfaction, that as a concrete process of becoming I also include and transcend the abstract being I identify myself to be at present: I am a woman, and I am also more than that.

Womanhood marks not the end,
but the beginning of my real story.