Someone commented not toooo long ago in reference to the term ‘journey’ to describe the process we experience when it comes to gender identity as something that is sometimes misunderstood. In her words we are not “off to see the wizard” on a magical adventure. Our journeys are sometimes lonely, frustrating, stressful, and confusing.
And goodness if she didn’t hit the nail on the head.
I begrudgingly use the word when I write about this side of us and how we can change over time based on our experiences and the people we encounter along the way. I use the word because honesty it’s probably the best way to describe how our gender identity can evolve. But there’s something about ‘journey’ that just doesn’t quite fit, if you know what I mean.
This comment really clicked for me. Our journeys are not always filled with wonder and magic and joy. Although there’s no magic wizard at the end of our paths giving us what we want, maybe our journeys have more in common with Dorothy than we might think.
In ‘The Wizard of Oz’, a tornado picks up Dorothy’s home and crashes it down far from where it was originally. She hits her head and then wakes up to find herself in a strange land that is confusing to her, but bright and colorful. I mean, LITERALLY bright and colorful. She left a mundane gray world and is now blinded by pink and yellow and the other colors of the rainbow. She sees a beautiful woman in a pink gown that changes her destiny. I know my destiny has been influenced by beautiful pink dresses.
She skips (I mean she literally does this) down the yellow brick road, scuffing up her new heels along the way, and soon meets friends and traveling companions.
But I am being toooo harsh. Let’s face it, a beautiful pair of heels can make you dance with joy.
Not to belabor the metaphor, but isn’t that we did? We leave the drab boy world of khaki slacks and gray neckties and black wingtip shoes to a bright world of pink dresses and red lipstick and yes, super sparkly heels.
Dorothy is prepared to go alone on her adventure, and we must prepare for this as well.
It’s easy to forget that Dorothy’s journey was also fraught with danger. Just as we get insulting comments towards us at the mall, she had trees throwing apples at her. I may not have winged monkeys after me but I do have transphobic jerks calling me ‘sir’. I am not locked in the witch’s tower but I’ve often felt alone.
To the outside world, our journey looks like it’s alllll about pretty clothes and blissfully wandering around a lingerie store but in our heart we know what it took to get there, what we’re feeling and dreading. Everything we do is a lot more difficult than it looks.
Same with Dorothy. Sure, she’s singing her heart out as she skips down her path and to the citizens of Oz it looks like she’s having the time of her life but let’s not forget that a few miles back a witch was throwing fireballs at her and she’s in fear of potential lions, tigers, and bears.
At the end of the yellow brick road, all Dorothy asked for was to go home. She could have stayed where she was, in a new magical world, but like all of us, we just wants to be where she belongs.
I may daydream about being a princess but my ambitions are more humble than that. I want to be home. I want my wife, my life, I want to spend Saturdays en femme. I want what I have.
And I am blessed for it.
We don’t want a giant castle, we want a quiet life to do what we want and to wear what we please… especially if we can wear red glittery heels.
9 thoughts on “The Yellow Brick Road”
It’s a difficult life but I wouldn’t change it for anything
Loved your Wizzard of Oz analogy today. You shy away from the term “journey”. To me, EVERYBODY’S life is a journey. We are all growing and evolving with each person or experience we encounter. Our paths are frought with things sometimes by choice and sometimes just because those are the cards dealt to us. Crossdressing and gender issues are just paths that most people reading your blog deal with. I too enjoy life when I get the opportunity to step into the ruby slippers and wander through the wonders of Oz butI too like to return to Kansas!
Of course the essential life lesson in The Wizard of Oz is that no one (wizard or not) can give us what we already possess inside of us. Just like the cowardly lion already had courage and the scarecrow already had a brain, we are already feminine inside. We just need to embrace her, accept her, let “her” out. Nancy
What beautiful post! So relatable and accurate.
Hannah, today’s post is simply one of your best. The analogy of our CD/TG “journey” to Dorothy’s adventures in Oz has such depth and understanding. Thank you!
When I see the word “journey” I think of Hero’s Journey where the protagonist is in a place or situation they don’t want but can’t break free from. Through some course of event(s) they find themselves compelled to work their way through and out in the face of tremendous odds, trials, and tribulations.
We all know the story: In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy wasn’t happy living on the farm and because of the tornado found herself transported to Oz where she defeats the Wicked Witch, her fears of the Wizard, and, finally, is returned to the farm. “There’s no place like home…” So, that fits.
Another one I like is the original Star Wars where Luke (coincidentally?) is on a farm, hates it, and suddenly finds himself in a battle for his life and the universe.
I’m 66 and now know that I’ve always been transgender. Well, to say it better, my gender has always been female, I just didn’t know it or what if anything I could do about it. Scary stuff. Depressing. Suicidal. Five years ago I started my transition and for the last couple of years readily blend into the world of cis women, especially lesbian women. Wow, that’s all very scary stuff. Not for the faint of heart!
The thing is, my Hero’s Journey is far from complete. Sure, I feel much much better living authentically. But you know, we all carry whatever other baggage we had. But it is, overall, a somewhat lighter load.
What you say is so true but damn I wish I had a few of those flying monkeys. And the ruby slippers.
Maybe now is the perfect time for the MN T-Girls to make a magical trip up to the Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids, MN.
Yes we were dealt a hand that makes our journey more challenging than most but we are not the only ones. Just think of all the families and children impacted by tragedy in Texas or the kid born with cerebal palsy or the person diagnosed with MS or the young girl whose mother died from breast cancer when she was 13, etc,etc….
At least we have the opportunity to make life easier for ourself, each other and future generations of transgender people. Others aren’t always so lucky. We just need to learn how to adapt and move forward the best we can. And be empathetic towards the journey of others.
Love the Elton John song Yellow Brick Road along with Sara Bareilles cover. So apt
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