How can I possibly understand women's issues?
This is the question I've been asked more than once so for those who may be wondering here's one of the many answers that I can give you to why it is so important to me.
A simple answer could be that after 2 1/2 years fighting for women's rights in Canada, that I learnt a lot about many aspects that cisgender women encounter that were not necessarily a part of my journey, but that's not why I feel I can talk about women's issues.
One morning, after being on oestrogen therapy for three months, I was getting ready for work. I have a pain in my lower abdomen that I've never had before, so I continue getting ready feeling the pain will go away.
Within 30 minutes, I was on the floor on both knees, bent over in agony. The pain had evolved into full cramping. I was bedridden for two days due to the disabiliting pain.
I made an appointment to go to the specialist clinic, to talk about this experience, as they were guiding me through my transition. They looked at my records, noted how long I've been on oestrogen therapy, and said welcome to womanhood.
Every 31 days I get to repeat that hormonal cycle. And in between each cycle, I have four distinct phases that I affectionately describe as hungry, sleepy, amorous, and the much coveted high productivity.
It's not what doctors say, that determines my womanhood, or the amazing women who consider me part of the sisterhood.
I encounter the world more as a woman than as a trans person.
I advocate for women's issues, because I am one.