“A snail’s pace” by Arty

Even a snail’s pace is okay.

I am a 23 year old man, I had lived in Nebraska for the majority of my life, and I move very, very slowly when it comes to my own identity.

The truth is, I came out several years ago as a transgender man and proceeded to do very little more than letting it settle into the minds of others. I’m going slowly, and that’s perfectly okay.

A decent number of years ago, a man called me ‘little buddy’ at the library, and I was so happy I’m fairly sure I had stumbled around like a fool for a while after! Male pronouns and being called a ‘male’ name on the internet made me the happiest I had been in a very long while, as it just felt right. I gravitated towards male clothing, and eventually my family had to notice. Coming out to my mother and father was rough, seeing as their ‘daughter was dead’ now. They cried. With this weighing on their hearts, they sought out the help of PFLAG to understand what was happening to their child, and to seek out company from people who have been through the process. I don’t know everything said during those meetings, as I wasn’t there at the time, but I do know that my parents were able to make friends and come to terms with their ‘new’ son.

So I was out publicly. Work, school, home. “My name is Arty and I am a guy.” I dressed like a guy, I became one of the guinea pigs for a gender inclusive housing dorm at UNO, I wore binders, and that was that. That was several years ago, and little else changed from that point onward. Sure, I corrected people and kept having little ‘coming out’ moments to new folks, but I was taking my time with everything else. I let it stew for a bit, came to terms with it for myself and just… lived.

There’s nothing wrong with going slow and waiting until you’re ready.

And a couple years later, when I really felt I wanted it, I took my next step. On November 14th, 2018, a Wednesday, at 9:45 am, I legally changed my name, and it was wonderful.

But, like I said, I move at my own snail’s pace, so I’ve been taking my time with everything else. In the meantime, my family moved out to Oregon, I got an internship, and followed them to my new home. Lots of things happened, and I finally feel ready to take the next step. On December 12th, I finally received my first testosterone injection. It may have taken me a good number of years to get here, but it is all worth the wait.

So if I have to give even a smidgen of advice, it would be this: Everyone moves at a different pace, and none of them are wrong. Go as slow as you like, and you’ll get to where you’re meant to go.