Sally Conning: I found out who I am

Being myself has been easier as I’ve aged. I’m ageing disgracefully. I don’t let age constrain who I am. Getting older is nothing to worry about

As I’ve gotten older I’ve come out of my shell more. I’ve done so much advocacy work and that has helped me. I’ve told my story so much that its helped me to know who I am. Five years ago I was just staring hormones and I started public speaking and sharing my story. Quite often I will start tell my story in the third person. I start by saying “I’d like to tell you a story about a young bloke I know.” It lets them know I’ve had a difficult start – and good things have come. I want to tell them hormones are not some magical switch. I’ve had to work at it.

Public speaking has helped me to acknowledge me. I stand up there as a trans person and I talk. I’m saying to them I know I am trans. I am acknowledging my story to you. I’ve got to the point now where I speak from the heart; it doesn’t matter who I am speaking to. When I’m telling my story I point to the door we all entered in and I say to them: before I came in that door I was just Sally. While I’m in here I’m Sally the trans girl. When I leave I’ll be Sally again – I’ll go back to just being me.

I’m proud of my advocacy work. It has helped me to connect to LGBTI communities and to my local community.

I have no fear of transphobia now. I’ve not experienced transphobia. I don’t try to be anything other than myself. I have no airs and graces. I’m not trying to be a Vogue cover girl. I’m just being me. I walk down the street in my stupid crazy coloured leggings and I don’t give a rat’s arse. I proud of myself – and people pick up on that. I’ve learned that I have to be comfortable with who I am and no certificate or surgical procedure will change that. I found out who I am. I am where I am. I am the girl I want to be. I’m living who I am now. I’m now ready to be myself, to be who I am all the time.

I pickled beetroot because it’s one thing that I’ve loved all my life. I mightn’t have always loved myself but I’ve always loved beetroot. I realise now I don’t try to be anything other than myself. I proud of myself. I found out who I am. I am the girl I want to be.

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