I'm writing a lot on liminality lately, those moments where we are held suspended in between firmly-rooted states of being.
Liminality is a vulnerable space, if only because in not-fitting social categories we challenge others' perceptions of their boundaries, and make them uncomfortable, but also, because in those moments we can be, or can feel unable to, move forward without the reassurances we are used to having.
An illness is a transition, from a state of wellness, through uncertainty, to something else, perhaps full health, and perhaps, a new (lesser or different) state of health.
So too, a change in gender, or becoming aware of one's sexual orientation.
For me, being "mixed race" was a site of liminality in my life, and something which could not be avoided, although I found myself trying at various times to move more clearly into one or the other "category" simply to divest myself of the discomfort and difficulty of negotiating the world as someone outside of clearly defined categories.