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On Self Discovery: Who am I? Who are You?

Here's an excerpt from my book He’s Always Been My Son: A Mother’s Story About Her Experiences Raising her Transgender Son

From my understanding, it is a common experience among transgender and gender questioning people to experience different levels or degrees of gender dysphoria over time.* As each person resolves one layer of their dysphoria, others may be revealed. Most humans never embark on this often arduous (and only sometimes joyful) journey of self-discovery. For some, such as my transgender son, the need to peel back the layers and fully reveal and affirm their truth is overpowering and compelling.

The journey of discovery and healing is not unique to transgender people, it is a common experience among those who undergo any process of self-discovery and healing. Humans are multilayered beings. There is the surface layer, the part of us we show to the world, the part the world sees. There is our inner world, our layers of thoughts and feelings. There is our subconscious layer, our dream world. There is our DNA, layers and layers of genes passed down from generation to generation. There are layers of ourselves created by our personal perceptions, layers of experiences we hold in our memory cells, experiences that influence our physical forms, our thoughts, our emotions and our responses to our experiences. Behind all these other layers are unknown parts, secret even to ourselves. And at our deepest core, we find the unwavering truth of who we are. If we choose to do the work, we can peel back these many layers and uncover our deep truths.

Who are we?


*Gender dysphoria - A profound, persistent state of unease or dissatisfaction, anxiety, or depression that occurs when one’s internal sense of who they are does not align with the sex assigned at birth.


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