Where to next?

2020 is almost behind us and destined for the history books, mostly for the wrong reasons. It was a very bad year for many reasons; in my home province of Nova Scotia we suffered a mass murder and the loss of a deployed RCAF helicopter and all its crew, and along with the rest of the world learned to cope with COVID-19 sickness and lives lost.

Putting aside the devastating losses, on a personal level this past 12 months has proven to be a massive breakout year for my expression. If you’ve cast an eye to my Flickr pictures, you will have seen a number of examples.

Year in review.

The beginning of the year brought with it the realization that “bigender” was the best descriptor for my gender identity. The following months allowed some expression at work and an article or two published in the local paper. With the prolonged closure of barber shops, I got to see my hair grow longer than it’s been in a while and raise a couple of questions reference military dress regulations.

In June I organized the second annual raising of the Rainbow Pride flag at the Wings main gate and the first ever Transgender flag to close out the month. That event, covered by the local paper and published on Facebook, lead to my big “outing” the next day on the CBC regional afternoon show Mainstreet. The Wing Commander and myself where interviewed where we talked about the flag, what it symbolized and inclusion, oh and the fact I identify under the transgender umbrella, more specifically that I’m bigender. No hiding anymore for sure!

While social activities where curtailed during the summer, I was still able to express both at work and at a couple of work related events. In the fall, I was able to instruct a number of Positive Space Ambassador courses and a couple of info sessions.

I also started a new position in November, moving from Wing Operations to the Deputy Wing Commanders Branch, assuming the duties for Ethics and Harassment coordinator.

December was the penultimate experience of the year. For the month, for a $25 donation to the Wings Combined Charities, one could wear civvies instead of uniform and for those members “who identify as women” we could paint our nails! For 13 of the 14 days I worked, I enjoyed being able to express that female self of me, which also included attending the sections Christmas Luncheon. I knew a few members in attendance, but the majority saw me only as a woman. Lady Luck must have been in my side that day as I walked out at the end with three draw prizes!

Christmas break has been all about family and not much thought about gender identities. I say “not much thought”, but it’s still there. Upon return to work in the new year, I foresee the continued opportunity to be me, though i think I’ll change up to wearing combats vis flightsuit with hopefully maybe once a month a casual Friday.

As the title says, where to next will be the theme for 2021. In the meantime I will continue with my new found mantra of “be the change“ and to “lead by example”.

I may not be writing as much as I did in the past as ack then I found it was the best outlet for my expression and a self therapy of sorts. Now that I can express myself physically more often, I’m comfortable with who I am and find I don’t need to use writing as often. That being said, I’ll try to keep my blog fresh with updates, but probably the best way to stay up to date is via my Flickr page.

Until next entry, please, observe medical advise, stay safe and healthy!

Michelle

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