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.