There are so many thoughts running through my mind… Yesterday’s post seemed to come so easy, flowing from my fingertips onto the screen. Today I begin to get a glimpse of the road ahead and it scares me.
In a single moment my world was shattered, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I knew what others saw, what they expected and assumed about me, was wrong. Even now that distant memory brings exhilaration and terror. I had seen my true self, the one hidden away. One which, even though I couldn’t explain why, I knew would never be accepted. Human eyes can only see skin deep and hold little concern for all those things which make us who we are… So much more inside than out, an iceberg in the sea of assumption.
From this moment forward I would find myself drifting further away from the people around me; family, friends, school mates, and teachers. There was a sense of control in building those walls. Keeping thoughts, emotions, and knowledge safely tucked away into the corners of my mind. As is said, the best kept secrets are known by only one. I was the keeper of the keys, the architect and builder of my own prison.
It is a silent, suffocating place.
I have found myself asking a great many questions recently. I have to suppose there are others out there who have found themselves in a similar situation… To stop one day, close your eyes and wonder, ‘who am I?’
For me it was the realization of how unbalanced my life was, every day a battle just to survive mentally, emotionally, sometime physically. There was neither time nor energy to be wasted on pointless questions of who and what I was. After all, odds were I wouldn’t live long enough for it to matter. Now here I am having lived almost 3/4 of my life span without many answers.
As hard as it may be to believe at this point, I found I needed to return to the very beginning of this story and ask the question; at what point did I discover a comfort level with myself, even if it was only for a moment?
Time after time I found myself returning to a single moment, standing in front of a mirror looking at the girl who looked back at me. I knew what I saw was me, the real, true me as I knew myself to be, heart and soul. It was a thrilling, terrifying moment which took away my breath and set my heart to racing. I can only say it was akin to looking into your own eyes and finding your soul reflected there.
I hid this experience away out of fear. Fear of what it meant to me personally, fear of my family, fear of the people around me who I knew, without doubt, would never except what I knew in my heart to be true.
Of course this was simply a beginning. Truth has a way of making itself known regardless of how deeply we try to bury it, to deny its existence.
Time and again I would find myself doing things to express who I was, silly things like putting a towel over my head, pretending it was hair, trying to keep “things” tucked out of sight during bath time or trying to put everything back inside where it belonged, all the while trying to convince myself other “boys” did the same things while knowing in my heart I was lying to myself.
All these years later I have found myself wanting to believe my memories are wrong. To find I have twisted events and dreams to create a reality which never existed and yet I cannot, in my heart, believe this to be true. The memories are too consistent. The emotional connection unbroken.
This is me. These are my memories and my experiences.
“My play Rotterdam opens this week at Theatre503 (I’m getting the plug in early). It’s about two women who are in a relationship and how that relationship changes when one reveals that he has always identified as male. Their names are Alice and Adrian, and I first had the idea for them five years ago.”
“At least 21 transgender women, most of them women of color, have been reportedly killed in the US this year. That number — 21 — may represent a bigger problem than you think: Since trans women of color make up a fraction of the population, LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter advocates are calling the deaths an ‘epidemic’ of violence.”
“In less than two weeks, Houston voters will consider Proposition 1, deciding whether the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) will become law. Its opponents have made many incendiary arguments targeting transgender women, but their claims have a glaring hole: transgender men.”
Death looked at me. His expression seemed more irritated than perplexed. Few people noticed him, less understood who he was, and none I would guess, offered him a welcoming smile.