I was terrified. After reading a text from yesterday morning I hadn’t received a response. It was a week from the one day of the year I dread: my adoption day. For my family it was a day to celebrate me and, serendipitously, my grandfather’s birthday as well. I’m reminded that before I could know or remember anything or defend myself, be autonomous; I was unwanted. It doesn’t matter if that is a false thought, or false dichotomy, or that there have been good things to come out of that. For as long as I can remember my adoption brings these thoughts. My ego and fear draw from that perception. And on this year I was in love with someone, that “wanted to talk,” so much so the idea of breaking up didn’t cross my mind. I even responded immediately because I was happy to hear what they would say. I never thought I would be ignored for over a day. Abandoned.
before I could know or remember anything…
…I was unwanted.
The next day we spoke and while at a party the night before I made them feel like they were owned by me. Which I never intended to do or even quite remember doing what caused them to feel this way. Despite that, I apologized. My insobriety does not excuse an action. I was disappointed in myself and angry at myself and wished that I hadn’t acted the way I did and as I couldn’t change that I could only say I don’t want this to happen again. I can think of my actions and how they might respond to them so they wouldn’t feel I owned them in the future. I also explained how harmful being abandoned felt. That it greatly increased by anxiety and impulsiveness and hurts the most fragile aspect of my personality. Overall, I thought it went well. Overall, I felt that I had just apologized in a way that wasn’t wishful or over-exaggerating; while, also, revealing something deeper about me and reasoning this can make our relationship stronger. Two weeks later I ended the relationship with a text after being ignored daily and blown off thrice. I said I hoped they found solace somewhere if they were hurting and that I couldn’t continue this because of the damage happening to myself. That I felt stupid for loving. For even thinking I should love someone. (sad fact, I didn’t want to make friends as a child b/c I thought people would leave me)
The above story might seem strange when writing personally about being transgender. But writing anything is connecting what can connect. To begin a clear evaluation should be made that human decisions are always with, or in, positive or negative relation to emotions. We have known and unknown justifications, but all decisions result from nearly, or wholly, similar processes.
Being born any way has never meant
the same to the self and the world.
I wasn’t born transgender. I hate when I hear other queer people say they are or anyone saying others, or themselves, are born this way.1 It’s an easy fruit, but totally worthless. The same can be said about skin color, or ethnicity. What does it matter? We treat everyone as they’re born in this world. We treat. Being born any way has never meant the same to the self and the world. Inheriting transness or learning it doesn’t adequately refute bigotry towards queer individuals. Moreover, human genetics is not an infinite study. A so called ‘gay gene’ might not exist and taken with other queer identities the probability of such a genetic predisposition existing becomes increasing improbable. I’m calling it. It doesn’t exist. I was not, you aren’t, no one is born this way.
IT DOESN’T MATTER.
I’m still not sure if I’m trans. Or a woman. Or if I like my hair black or the outfit I’m wearing (I change 2-3 times a day). But it’s where I am right now. It is what I am choosing now. It is my choice. And I use the same faculties of rationality that a person would employ to pursue the cure for any disease or attack their lover in the wake of their partner’s infidelities or which restaurant to eat at or to go out to eat or to eat at all.
Also at this moment I am considering, and essentially planning, top and bottom surgeries Which, wow, that might be a bad decision. I literally describe my dick as cute. I think it fits me well. But it makes my fashion difficult. Sex is more difficult with it after taking hormones. Plus being trans and a lesbian makes my aversion to being a top during penetrative sex more accepted which is fine because I never really liked it when I started being sexually active. I’ve yet to stand to pee in a woman’s restroom and don’t plan on it because it might be alarming (who knew seeing a person’s feet in relation to the stall could be gendered?!?!). Notice a pattern? They are all rational decisions. And I’m still searching for more to know myself better.
I literally describe my dick as cute.
An entirely different reason explores aesthetics. When I was younger and small framed I wanted to be manly so much and as I didn’t grow, visibly, any larger despite dead lifting over 400 (5 sets, 4 reps, 425 was my usual) I eventually stopped trying. During one particularly bad cycle of depression my appetite decreased and in losing weight I noticed how pretty my collar bones were. I liked the curve descending from my hip bone. I’m still surviving those thoughts and they are still terrifyingly destructive and attractive.
I almost can’t believe how much I love my body now though. Of how few things I want to change, or hate because how they look. Or even dislike. Actually, I don’t hate anything on my body. Part of the first parts of my transition (before I came out to myself and friends) included the struggle to like my legs that were always small and I began to love them. (albeit, more similar to tumblr body-self-appreciation posts when you’re already feeling down than actual love) And out of that, somewhat esoterically, I determined what my legs needed was cellulite (and yes, I did phrase it to myself that way at least once) Like, they told me so. Even on my most critical body days I look good now and it freaks me out and I don’t know how to deal with it. Or how to take compliments ever. But still, I love my body. I enjoy discovering new comforts living in my body and hormones helped that process. Which started because I identified as a transwoman.
I’ve also been told I am on the whole more joyous in life despite still struggling with depression (which is also more manageable than ever) and yeah, that’s true. I get sad over Mondays. Which maybe to you seems normal, but to me a day of a week didn’t matter. I would be depressed anyway and going back to work or school wasn’t dissimilar from going to anything else. I have a greater range of emotion. And not only feeling emotions or feeling controlled by their severity; but engaging with them in healthy ways and welcoming every type of emotion.
I don’t need a birthright to deserve respect and love, legal protection and equality.
I started by describing the end of my most recent relationship. I’m not angry at them. I’m not bitter (well, a little bit). But mostly disappointed. I thought it was heading one way and it headed another. I’m not blameless either. Two things happened; one from each side of the relationship that made it nearly impossible to continue. I learned something, or to pay attention to how I interact when I am in particular situations or states. Maybe discuss comfort levels more seriously. Maybe think more of my actions being perceived than how I view them. I view my transness in the same way. I’m here now. I’m going down this road until something stops me or death. Or until I stop myself. I know the risks and benefits. I understand what is possible to reverse, difficult to change and impossible to undo. I don’t need a birthright to deserve respect and love, legal protection and equality. I don’t require an inheritance or elite status either. I’m not old money and I don’t fucking want to be. I cringe when I hear the Rockefeller line from New Americana by Halsey. Any reason demanding rights to yourself is in insult to the rights prescribed to each and everyone of us by being a living, sentient being. Don’t engage in the arguments of those that do not believe in your autonomy. Don’t believe in equality, know it. Don’t say love is love because love is not what is being attacked, we are. We are here now. We are living now. I am living now exactly as I want to.
1Lady Gaga got at least some of it right though, some people are born oriental, especially if you were born while The British Empire was drugging China with opium and oriental wasn’t considered racist