This is brilliant, Constance! Thanks for writing it!
I have always maintained that we have the right to be happy, no matter what the dominant narrative wants us to say. And there are a lot of narratives out there that basically amount to pre-transition = bad; post-transition=deliriously happy.
As a trans woman who has fought with depression much of her life, I recognize that the simple act (OK, not so simple) of transition is not a magic bullet to make me happy. However, it has been one of the bricks I have used to build my edifice of happiness. I can truly say that I am now the most happy that I have been in my life. One big part of that is transition, but it is not the only part.
Also, I believe that the most valuable thing transition gave me was the experience itself. It isn’t the hormones or the idea of finally feeling at home in my body and in society. It is the fact of having gone through all the issues and traumas associated with transition (losing friends and family members, being treated differently, facing a less-than-friendly set of public opinions) and coming out the other side as a whole, relatively sane human.
I think there is something to be said for the resilience and, well, just plain awesomeness of trans people as a result. That is what is behind one of my pieces: I’m Transgender. What’s Your Superpower.
I'm Transgender. What's Your Superpower?
How Struggles Can Become Your Greatest Strengths
In some ways, it seems related to what you are saying here so I’ve linked it.
Thank you again for such a lovely piece.