“Identity,” he said, “is formed from three components: first, self-identity; second, social identity; and third, legal identity—the most important of which is self-identity, the only facet of identity that involves the power of your own choice.”

It was revelatory to hear this breakdown, to see the separate parts of how we are seen. We all want to be seen: by our parents, our friends, authority figures, and—most of all—ourselves. What we choose to grow is part of our self-identity, how we see ourselves, regardless of official names or governmental labels. What we grow is how we are seen. {read}