It's easy sometimes to focus on the stress and problems of being trans. There are bad days or bad moments that stick in your memory. Moments of loneliness or feelings of isolation. But a lot of the time I want to focus on the positives. The complexity of being poly and queer on the super-fun, depressing, hetero-normative day of Valentine's Day doesn't help, either.

So I wanted to take a moment today to write down a list of things - big and small - that are cool about being trans. Things that make me glad I finally went, "No, fuck it, I can't do this any more, I'm going to transition."

I've occasionally posted things like this before, but fuck it: I feel I need this today, even though this V-day is better than the last in a lot of ways.

(Caveat: some of these are specific to me. Some are specific to privileges I still have. Others are just pretty dumb. But they're things that make me happy, and that's what I want to focus on today.)

1) I got the unique (if mostly unpleasant) experience of seeing the way the world treat cis, het, straight men while I still presented as such. It's given me an appreciation of the positives and negatives of the world seeing you as male, and the inverse for how my culture treats women.

2) I've copped transphobic abuse... but not too much. Why is this a positive? Well, because it's given me a perspective I didn't have before. I will almost certainly, barring major sci-fi level social changes, never have to deal with racism. I do have to deal with homophobia. But previous to this, I had to deal with... none of that. Which meant that while I could be an ally and try to do my best, I had no concept of what that kind of irrational hatred levelled at you feels like. I do now, and while each experience is different and each form of bigotry levelled at you is unique, I will never again take for granted what it's like to experience none of that.

3) Having nail polish and lipstick with me has been amazingly helpful on occasion when I need to MacGuyver a solution to a weird tech problem. (No, really.)

4) I increasingly love this body. I feel excited and empowered by my ability to look good in dresses, play with makeup, and just generally do things that I always wanted to do before but never felt comfortable doing (thanks, social gender role bullshit!). In another hundred or so years maybe dresses fitted for men and lack of social abuse at men who want to use makeup may be a thing, and my pre-transition life may have been better, but right now? These small aesthetic things can make a rough day that much easier.

5) My friendships feel 'right'. My girlfriends are everything to me, from ones I see once a year to ones I see nearly every day. It feels like I'm suddenly in the right social place, even if that social place is sometimes dismissive and depressing. (Thanks, systemic sexism!)

6) "Power" is something I can enjoy now. I don't mean in a Donald Trump way, or a Nikola Tesla way, either. I mean... the kind of latent social power I had pre-transition made me feel... uncomfortable. As bizarre as it may sound, the lack of it feels 'right' now, and the slightly different ways I've had to learn to exert power in socially situations feels more natural to me.

7) I feel no need to dominate. My coping mechanism of being a raging faux-macho douche-nozzle on occasion is gone. I'm happy just listening. I'm happy being me.

8) My skin is super-soft and sensitive. daydreams about more time with cute sensualists

9) Being with women, as another woman, feels so right now. I see lesbian romances and squee in a way I've never done before over any romances. I suddenly find there are people whose life experiences I can relate to. I no longer feel alone. I have found my identity - I am trans, and I am a lesbian. This is me, and I am totally cool with that.

10) I can ask celebrities to sign my tits.