I find it generally humorous when someone describes me or any other transgender women or men as brave.
In my case I had to move forward to live as my authentic self as a transgender woman before it was too late and I was successful in committing suicide. I then embarked on a gender journey which at some points was down right scary and at other times completely wonderful. In other words, I learned I wasn’t so brave as much as I never had a choice and was beginning to live a life I was always destined to live.
Of course at times, my transition was less than fun. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I was driven to tears by very rude people. I don’t believe it was being brave to keep subjecting myself to abuse, it was beginning to feel more and more natural and the abuse faded away.
It’s always a debate too about how much different the situation has changed over the years and decades. When I came out, it was primarily a solitary time for novice cross dressers or transgender women. There was no social media and very few groups who would hold monthly “mixers”. The times were so solitary, trans individuals who went the distance all the way to genital realignment surgery were expected to go stealth by moving away and completely starting a new life. In many ways, I felt they were the brave ones.
Currently, in many parts of the country there are LGBTQ groups which a person can reach out to for support. The group I am part of locally has helped many trans people come out of the closet and a place for cross dressers to explore more fully where they want to go. Small groups are able to go shopping and socialize in socially distanced situations. In fact, there was a virtual social this weekend.
I am fairly sure most of the girls/guys don’t consider themselves brave. It is something they just had to do.