This photo is from a hidden place in the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway. To me it is the perfect presentation of a transgender identity being repressed. But it also points to a way out of the imprisonment.
The woman is the hidden reality of a closeted transgender or nonbinary person. The dragon represents the social rules, the institutions and the internalized fears that make trans people hide from the world.
A dragon named Transphobia
The dragon is transphobia: The transphobia found out there, in society, and the internalized transphobia, the one fueled by shame and guilt.
We are not going to slay the dragon. Instead we shall look at it and recognize it. It is what it is. It is a fact of life. And it has imprisoned an essential part of who we are.
Maybe we let it take control one time, because there were too many powerful people around who would not let us be who we truly are. Maybe we actively let it guard this treasure inside us, because nobody else treasured it.
But we are strong enough now to free ourselves from both the dragon and the people who imprison us.
We know the name of the dragon. Its name is Transphobia. And as in myths and fairy tales knowing the name of a magic beast means that we can control it.
We will step out of its embrace and tell it: “You cannot control me anymore!”
To get to that point we need to talk about our feelings, our fears and our hopes with other people like ourself.
There are a lot of places for people who struggle with gender out there, on Discord, Reddit, Facebook and dedicated forums. So even if you cannot find anyone to trust in your own community, it is possible to find friends out there.
You are not alone!
The Crossdream Life Forum
By the way: One of these online communities is the Crossdream Life forum, which some of us set up back in 2011 to let people of all shades of gender variance explore their real nature. This is a place where they can meet friends who understand them.