This is a bit of an update to this post from Sunday:
First, I'd like to say a massive, sincere "thank you" to everyone who offered their support and advice on my 'coming out' post. To send off words into the internet ether expecting the worst and receiving nothing but kindness and love in return was one of the most hopeful things that has happened to me. Thank you, GT, for being amazing!
A few of you recommended that I make an appointment to see a therapist/counsellor to discuss my identity issues and help make some sense of what I'm feeling. In the past, when I've been dealing with some shitty emotions or difficult moments in my life, I've heard that advice and thought "that sounds great....for someone else" and not really done anything about it. This time, rather than put it off or trick myself into thinking I can get by without it, I made an appointment first thing this morning with a counsellor who seems really LGBTQ-friendly and is highly recommended by a number of local groups. My first appointment is on Saturday, so, fingers crossed that it all goes well! Again, the support and positivity I felt from everyone here played a huge part in helping me overcome my fear and make the appointment - unlike the last time I saw a therapist (while I was at university), I don't really feel afraid or anxious. I'm excited to talk to someone and hopefully share this part of myself that I've felt obligated to hide for so long.
Second, and as you might have noticed, I've changed my username and pic to something a little more "me"! Where I was once known as MiracleWhips, henceforth I will be LauraNorder! As much as I'm nervous about how I can be more myself in my real life, I've decided to try and explore my identity fully in this semi-anonymous space, where I don't feel like I'm going to be judged or looked at funny. It feels almost like being naked, because I've shed all these layers of artifice and this male 'character' I've developed over time and I'm giving myself permission to be more myself. It's such a strange, validating, scary, wonderful, thrilling and terrifying feeling - so many things at once! I'm still processing everything, and I know this feeling won't last forever - soon I'll come down from this 'high' as reality hits, but there's nothing but positives to take with me.
I feel like I'm starting this journey from place of strength, not weakness. And you all have played a huge part in that. From the very bottom of (what I have been reliably informed is) my huge heart, thank you! Thank you so, so much.
- Laura xoxo
Tl;dr - Came out as trans-ish-possibly-maybe on Sunday; learned the true breadth of this community's love and awesomeness; changed my username; going to start counselling; you guys are awesome.
Now, for suffering through what has now been two torturously long and self-centred posts, I propose a little GIF party in the comments. Show off the GIFs that make you laugh every time you see them!