Have you ever felt that you are like a sore thumb? A sore thumb that hurts yet stands out from all the other thumbs in the world because of your mere presence or how brightly you shine. Imagine then being transgender as well as a sore thumb. While in reality, I am not just a thumb, I am a whole person and like everyone else, I have had times of self-doubt or not feeling beautiful enough or worthy enough and occasionally, still do.

 

I am a transgender female who raises awareness…

 

About gender identity and issues transgender people face. I also talk about how to make workplaces more inclusive for transgender people either at conferences or through media or social media. I began this journey last year after all the issues I went through transitioning from male to female in the workplace and elsewhere.  

What I have learnt going down this path on my journey is that it takes courages to step outside your comfort zone and doing what others may not be doing or doing it differently in your own special way. People will criticise you for not following the accepted norms or doing it with style, spreading your message with love and intention of making the world better. I have been criticised by people for calling myself awesome on my website when in all reality, they are either just jealous or want you to fall in line with them and not stand out.

 

I have spoken to people about the importance of respecting transgender people…

 

In the workplace even if one doesn’t necessarily accept or understand us. I have shared my journey speaking what I have gone through or how at times, how I felt confused, misunderstood or not belonging in the world. All along, also figuring out who I am but also why I am here. By speaking about this and my journey, I am making myself vulnerable by sharing my story, however, I know by doing so, it will make it easier for other transgender people who do not have a voice or are too afraid to speak out because people will begin to understand and accept us.

On a personal level, I have always struggled with things such as body image which I acknowledge I am not alone in struggling with. For me, as a child and even an adult, I always thought I was too fat never really feeling comfortable in my skin. This is kind of oxymoronic in a way because I have always been skinny most of my life and only ever put on weight when I started hormones for a brief period of time.   

When I started living full-time as a women, I became even more conscious of my body image and realised that I had to change this so I did a photo shoot. This was the hardest thing I have ever done and I still choke up a bit thinking back to it and how it started me on the path of feeling beautiful again. 

 

Moments like this in our lives or experiences we have and go through shape us 

 

They change who we are and make us either stronger or feel better. If we sit back for a moment and realise that the experiences and moments in our lives happen for a reason, then we can start to understand how they have had a positive impact on our lives which if we are willing to share, can have a positive impact on other people’s lives.

I know that we all have these moments in our lives that define us and take us on the path to the next level in our journey. While we don’t always necessarily see them coming or recognise them at the time, nonetheless, they make us stand out. The times I have been nominated for an award is another moment in my life which not only recognises what I have done, they also take me on a new path to a higher level opening new doors and new opportunities in the future.  

When this happens to you, have the attitude that you deserve this because of all the good work you are doing while recognising that this means you will stand out even more than before. Own this with love in your heart knowing that you are being put in a position of both privilege and responsibility to make a positive difference in the world. If you do this then you will shine brightly and be a light in a world that often seems bleak even dark.

Let us all bring hope to a world that desperately needs our bright, shining light to shine even brighter than before.

Melissa Griffiths

Melissa Griffiths is a transgender authority who consults and educates employers about how to make the workplace more inclusvie for transgender people. She is also a inspirational speaker who shares her story as well as breaking down barriers in society towards transgender people.

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