I Am What I Am – Gloria Gaynor

Link to song

To be fair, I have always thought this song was amazing. When you grow up feeling ostracised, it is pretty nice to hear that being who you are is awesome. This is one of the songs that can motivate me when I’m feeling low but recently, it has acquired a new purpose too.

So, having mentioned my partner before, now is the time to also mention that recently she has come out as transgender. I can’t be sure if she has heard this song before (I will make sure she does soon if not!), but it is what has been playing in my head on repeat because of her. She has been so brave and so confident and so happy that only this song could describe how she has been feeling and acting in the past few weeks. I am so proud of her for realising that it is okay to be who you were born to be and that it is okay to put yourself first and go and find the happiness you deserve.

You could say a lot of barriers were put up to try and impede her progress, but she knows her own body and mind and she is dealing with all these obstacles brilliantly. She gets emotional and she finds it tough, but she doesn’t want to live a lie any longer. And she is my idol. More than anything she has shown to me that this song is 100% correct, and living as you want to live is the most important thing. It can be scary and hard and sometimes admitting what you want (especially when others may not want the same) is incredibly difficult. But it is worth it. My girlfriend is happier now than she has been in a long time.

But more than that. Just because ‘I Am What I Am’ plays in my head when I see her, I couldn’t be sure that my friends and family would all share the exact same views. And that is where this song’s importance really kicks in for me.

We visited my family over the weekend just gone. We love my family, and my family loves us, but it isn’t always plain sailing when we visit. My partner was incredibly worried about how my family would take the news, and although I was optimistic, I (ashamedly) still wasn’t 100% sure that everyone would just take the news as easily as I had. But do you know what? My heart felt fit to burst at the welcome my girlfriend received. Not only from my parents, but from my stepfamily and my nan and everyone we told. They welcomed her with open arms, quite literally!! They were all happy for her, and happy for us and above all, they were all so pleased that she was being true to herself. So now, not only does ‘I Am What I Am’ make me feel positive, now I can listen to the song and beam with pride and joy that my family are so supportive and wonderful. I have never been prouder of my family and friends than when I saw their reactions to her. This song is fabulous for so many reasons, and I just keep finding more. I hope it can help people as much as it has helped me. Always be who you want to be, you deserve it.

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