“Why now, after all this time?”

I’m a big fan of the writer Jenny Boylan, and about a month back I posted a link to a Twitter thread where she talked about being a late transitioning trans woman. She’s now turned it into a column for the New York Times.

People often ask late transitioners, why now, after all this time? What kind of woman do you think you can be, after missing your girlhood and your adolescence? But those aren’t the questions one should ask.

The question is, how did you manage to go so long? What enabled you to keep carrying your burden in secret, walking around with a shard of glass in your foot, for all those years?

This story may be less about what it is like to come out as trans than it is about finding the courage to do a difficult thing, even if you are no longer young, even if you do not know how. Trans people are surely not the only ones who wonder how to close the gap between the people they feel they have to pretend to be and their authentic selves.