Accepting yourself

Accepting yourself

Here is just what will cheer you up, a love letter from a trans man to the LGBTQIA+ community in India

Rags Dhar

Accepting yourself is hard; no self-help book is good enough to cater to everyone’s needs, even though they’re marketed as such. One can only skim through them and use whatever information resonates with them since there is no ‘correct’ way of living a happy life; all we know is that it’s a very steep hill that can only be trekked if you have the one essential tool – the ability to rebuild your self-esteem. 

Living in such a homophobic and transphobic state, acceptance, whether from the self or others, doesn’t come naturally to us LGBTQIA+ folk; we need to fight for it. It’s crucial for us to feel safe and loved by ourselves even when we don’t feel loved by others. This is an ‘almost’ guaranteed formula that is still in the works of being tested by me, and it’s going well so far. 

For context, I’m a trans man. I ultimately transitioned about half a year ago, and I couldn’t be more relieved to be able to live as what I identify as. I did have a few road bumps in the way, though, getting misgendered at home, losing friends after I changed my pronouns, dealing with my own internalised transphobia, the whole nine yards. It wasn’t all bad, though, for I learnt a very underrated skill – to be my own best friend/bodyguard – however you want to phrase it. 

I did this by splitting accountability – faults of mine that I could change, control, and forgive myself for them and teaching myself not to take unnecessary guilt for other people’s faults. For example, if someone misgenders me continuously – I remind them politely of my pronouns. 

If they still don’t correct the way they address me, I avoid them and have the internal monologue of “Okay, you do you”, and have a solely professional relationship with them. It’s not on me that they’re ignorant, but I can control how I feel about it. Who are they to try and cut through my armour? They’re just carrying a pocket knife. It’s a tough road ahead but buckle in your seatbelt because I assure you, the destination will be very worth it. 

It is a privilege to be able to live freely in this state, and we won’t stop till we get there. 

Love and hope,

Rags (he/him)