Authenticity comes in many forms. Lesboi wrote recently about Authenticity and asked what it is for us. I found their post to be extremely timely, for I am one who tries to be my authentic self always, and Lesboi brings up some very specific points about it:
This morning I found myself watching this video by uppercaseCHASE1 about how being your authentic self isn’t just about being trans and it got me thinking pretty hard about what living an “authentic life” really means for me. I talk about living authentically a lot. It’s a huge motivator for my transition. It’s what pushes me through the hard stuff about all of this. But, as Chase points out, authenticity is bigger than just being trans. There’s so much more to each of us than our gender and our sexuality. There are political beliefs, personal preferences in clothing, books, movies, music, chores, where we live, who we live with, how we spend money, how we do our hair, how we speak, what cell phone we carry, etc. etc. etc. The list is too huge to list it all. All of these things, plus our history and our future goals and dreams help to make us who we are. -Lesboi, Another Authenticity Post
This says so much about how I feel. Being authentic is important to me, it’s part of being honest about myself, and to myself. There were times in my life where being my “authetic” self was more dangerous to me, as being Butch was a dangerous way of life during those times. So one had to “tone it down” a bit, not being one’s authentic self, in order to not stir the pot too hard and cause an upset. Or better said to not get your ass beat to hell for being too bold as to be your authentic self.
I don’t think that being one’s authentic self has only to do with our sexuality, gender identity or personal preferences because – as Lesboi points out and as uppercaseCHASE1 points out in his video linked by Lesboi here – there is a LOT more that goes into our personal make up than just those superficial things. It’s not about how Butch, femme, trans or gay one is. It’s not about being enough of one thing or another, it’s about being enough for yourself. It’s about being authentic to yourself and living life for yourself and no one else. When you are doing that then I believe you are being truly authentic.
We’ve talked alot about being “enough” in our vlogs and blogs. People want to set these rules and guidelines for being a certain way, i.e. trans, butch, femme, genderqueer, etc. They want to define the words and set all these boundaries behind them that makes people think they need to be a certain way to be “enough” to claim their own identities. When you are being your authentic self you don’t need to live up to anyone else’s expectations or determining factors. You make your own rules; set your own boundaries and live the best life you can for yourself. That’s being authentic to yourself.
Being one’s authentic self doesn’t have to revolve around any one specific group, like for Chase it seems his experience has it’s roots for him in his Transgender identity. For me when I speak of my authentic self I see the strong Butch that I am. For the fantastic femmes out there I am sure it’s got some to do with their – well – fantastic femme-ness!!! Whatever being your authentic self has it’s “center seed” in for you, is just for you to decide! That is part of being one’s authentic self!
My own version of my authentic self, when I think about it, is somewhat about me being able to be out and proud, and Butch. But that’s only a small part of my true self. True self to me has to do with many other things as well; it’s in how i treat other people and how I expect to be treated in return. It’s in my honesty and my loyalty. It’s in my fearlessness about being who I am and my expectation of just being respected for that.
So that’s my take on it for now. What does being one’s “authentic self” mean to you? Where does that authenticity show up most in your life?