A few minutes ago, just after I got home from a haircut and running some errands, I brought up two email drafts on my computer screen.

The first was a letter to all my graduate students, many of whom know about my transsexual transition, and some of whom know something’s up, and a few of whom probably haven’t heard. The second was a letter to the rest of my department’s faculty, the ones I haven’t already told.

Looking at these two emails in front of me, I took stock of this stage of my transition. I’ve made a full-time job of coming out to people ever since late December, when I first told my department chair, and probably more accurately, mid-January, when I began coming out to friends regularly. I lost count about a month ago, even though I continued to maintain my “Who Knows?” page on the blog (I should have renamed it “Who I Have Told”). Mary Jo has told a lot of people I can’t track, and all of our friends have told other people, creating a big, downhill-rolling snowball — and today is the bottom of the hill for that ball of energy.

The “Send” button is all that remains to do — hit it and then call it a day. Hell, call it a season. It has been intensely emotional, a time-consuming, and affirming, but it wasn’t at all like I thought it would be. I expected a fight, an argument, a line of obstinate people determined to prevent me from taking even the tiniest step. Instead, I have encountered one loving and encouraging friend after another, so much so that I slowly began to lower my guard, imagining positive encounters. And I think those positive and relaxed expectations began to contribute to relaxed and encouraging disclosures.

The prospect of bringing all of this to an end hangs in the air, still and lifeless, dust motes glimmering in the western sun. It’s the end of something, the beginning of a new stage of development. Lines from Keats’ “To Autumn” come to mind —

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

My spring has been filled with songs of self-disclosure, performed at bars, restaurants, coffee shops, faculty offices, post office packages, email messages, academic conferences, this blog. The songs have sounded quirky, moody, happy, introspective, interrogative, tentative, transitory.

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too

The next season will have its own rhythm and tone and melody, performed in duos and trios, with friends and family, in the mirror, the doctor’s office, the church pew, the classroom. These songs will be lively, upbeat, futuristic, sometimes atonal, sometimes melodic — they are the songs of becoming and emergence and possibility.

The Send button is going to change the soundtrack. I proofread the email one more time. If I contradict myself, very well, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. I hover for an instant over the button, then, without ceremony, press it, a barbaric yawp into the internet.

I stop somewhere waiting for you