When I look in the mirror, I like what I see. I wish I was taller, there are times during the year that I gained some pounds that I wish I could get rid of, and if I could choose, I would not mind having a smaller booty. These are all silly wishes in the big scheme of things and not anything to stress over.
However, what happens when you wake up in the morning and you do NOT like what you see? Does this not apply to most people at some point in life? Don’t we ALL have to go through a process of self-love and self-acceptance after pain and disappointments? Imagine if this feeling went a step further. What would happen if you feel like one gender on the inside, but your body is the opposite gender? For one second, imagine living in a Halloween costume that you cannot take off at the end of the night.
I do not know what it is like to be born a man any more than I know what it is like to be born a Scottish woman. I have no idea what a Chinese person feels like when they visit their grandparents after having been born and raised in The United States, but then they are judged by others for not speaking the language. I have zero idea of what it means to be black and the struggles and prejudice that they go through. However, that does not mean that I cannot find common ground in their story to reach a place of compassion and understanding for their journey. While I do not understand what it is like to be a man, black, white, trans or happily married with four kids and a picket fence, I CAN understand feeling like sometimes I do not belong in this world full of judgment, prejudice, ugliness, and hate. I can understand what it feels like to be judged for my race, gender, Nationality, sexuality, and whatever else makes someone feel like they CAN judge me.
The truth is that we will always be judged by others, our employers, our religion, families, and so on. At the end of the day it is OUR job to find that love and acceptance within ourselves regardless of what others may think. Is that not a journey that we ALL go through? I realized that I wanted to speak to Miranda Salman because I wanted to discover not just an inspiring story of strength, self-love, and perseverance, but also find the gray area that we can all relate to. Our individual stories may be different, but the bottom line is that we are all going towards the same goal of wanting to be happy and live in peace. I do not have to understand what it is like to be trans. That was not my story or my journey. However, I can definitely understand the path from not liking the person that looks back at you in the mirror to loving who that person is. Our paths may be different, but our goals are the same.
Miranda Salman first realized that something was not right when she was about four. She knew that she wanted to play with her mother’s clothes and make-up. Some would say that kids like to play, but her desire to wear female clothes continued well into her teen years. As if that was not confusing enough for then “Jorge”, her sexual preference and attraction was always towards women. Many do not know the difference between gender identity and sexuality, but they are two separate conversations all together. See, Miranda was a woman trapped in a man’s body that needed to come to terms with whom she truly was inside. Not only did she have to battle her gender identity, but also endlessly explain that her attraction was always towards women. From Jorge to Miranda, her sexuality did not change. Not every Trans story has been the same just like no two individuals share the same story.
After battling with anxiety and depression plus two marriages, Jorge decided to start his transition when he was 25 years old. The journey from Jorge to Miranda was not just a physical one, but an internal one. Finally, Miranda can look at herself in the mirror and find that her inner callings now match her external self. She is no longer a woman stuck in a man’s body. The journey to becoming a woman was also her journey to fully accepting and loving the person she saw in the mirror in the mornings.
I asked her, if there is anything else internally that she is dealing with? She responds that she is very well aware that she was not born a woman and that bothers her. Miranda is also aware of the discrimination she faces within the LGBTQ community as a lesbian. She feels that the lesbian community does not entirely accept her and notices subtle differences between the way they treat each other vs. how they do not entirely welcome her into the group. The lesbian community in Mexico City is different than the beach town of Playa del Carmen. These struggles continue for her, but she knows she has done all that she can for herself. The rest belongs to others. We can choose to be judgmental and show prejudice towards others that are different from us. The journey to equality and acceptance starts with how we treat ourselves. Miranda has fully accepted herself. It is our individual journey to do the same so that we can also fully love and accept others. Judging others only makes us judgmental people. It does not make us right.
We do not live in a perfect world and unfortunately ignorance, hate, and prejudice are still prevalent in our society. The trans community is just another excuse to apply this hatred. However, luckily, the feelings of compassion, love, and acceptance also exist and our job is always towards loving and accepting whom we are first. Is the trans journey really all that different from everyone’s path to self-love?
Thank you Miranda for being an example of being whom you are with no apologies, regrets, shame, or secrets. Thanks for being a reminder that we are all just wanting to be loved and respected. A final question that I asked her was what would she like to see happen in our world? Miranda says that she hopes someday that we do not see each other as merely genders and sexuality. She hopes we start loving and respecting each other simply for our essence and humanness. Now isn’t that a beautiful world to strive for?
Gracias Miranda. I interviewed you expecting to figure out how different you are from all of us—only to figure out that we are all just human beings in the process of finding our happiness.