The Ever Unfolding Rose
Jennifer Angelina Petro
I weep in gratitude as I write these words. Many of you know the many challenges I am facing in my life right now all as a result of being transgender. And yet, despite these, and the near-constant struggles with dysphoria, I look in the mirror and am amazed—not at the beauty or how “feminine” I look—but that I am who I want to be. I am the person I was meant to be.
The soul looking out from my eyes is tender. She is also ferociously strong. As the years of living under the weight of an imposed masculinity, she rejoices in the freedom that is finally hers.
Today I see the wonder of who I am as a transgender woman. Imagine carrying within you the seeds of an entirely new person and then sprouting with every step. Imagine being a human, living egg, or a walking cocoon continuously unfurling and hatching as one moves through the world. Imagine being asleep all your life and then suddenly waking up to a reality that is both delicious and calming beyond compare. Imagine having amnesia all your life and not remembering who you really are until, one day, the scales fall, the fog lifts, and you remember—you are an angel, you are majestic, holy, noble—you are yourself as your soul remembers you to be.
Today I embrace the native tradition of being two-spirit. Today I embrace the wisdom thrumming through me and the insight and understanding I have of myself and of the world.
Yes, there are challenges. Yes, I am often raw with tears, and the changes I am in the midst of often feel paralyzing, but I am me—a transgender woman. And I loved. I know that. I know too, that I am love made manifest in a being emerging like a blossom in spring. Whatever lies ahead will be met by a soul living in her deepest truth. Whatever I have to face—I face it knowing I am myself.
I am myself in a way I have always wanted to be and could never dream possible. I am myself with a life and identity of authenticity that is helping change the world for the better. I am myself with an awareness of my spirit that is as profound as it is humbling. I am the ever unfolding rose. I am transgender, and this being transgender is my greatest gift.