no honor among thieves

I sit in my room.  It’s a nice room but a bit dusty, and I’m allergic to dust.  So I’ve been struggling to breathe since I moved here.

 

My trans friend sleeps across the room, on the small mattress we found on the street.  She’s been transitioning for 10 years, though she’s much younger than I am.  She used to update her video blog.  She’s always telling me to get some real problems.  Every day we wake up head-to-toe in that tiny bed.  Would we have it any other way?

 

She insists she isn’t my girlfriend.  She doesn’t like to be touched.  I remember what that was like.

We share food, share our lives.  Thick as thieves, I wear the ring her boyfriend gave her.

 

And something interesting has happened.  She walked the path I started upon, took it to the extreme.  Gave herself nothing and no one to lose, but it ends nowhere.  So I found something to care about.  It’s obvious.  It’s inevitable.  As sure as I would die without her, I need to complete my science work.  It’s not a question of discrimination or profit, I need to be what I’ve become.

 

uncharted

I don’t understand.  I was plagued by an overwhelming desire to escape from myself, then I discovered my gender dysphoria and transitioned.

Now I don’t know what it means to be a woman, but it’s how others see me, and it’s accurate.

I feel better.  I don’t want to drown my consciousness in science and software; I’m not desperate to lose myself in marijuana smoke and virtual worlds.

I can breathe and be okay with it, I’m okay with my body.  I can live behind my eyes.  I can stand still.

 

My old journals ask the same questions:

What will make me happy?

What is my problem?!

It seemed normal, to be not okay with life.  I didn’t notice I was repeating myself.

Then I wrote this blog, and every couple of weeks I put the past further behind me.

 

I can write clearly.  Not only about myself, but about the science I experienced under semi-consciousness; file boxes of notes, notebooks, calculations, programs, diagrams, data.  Records of data, a life’s work on disconnected servers.

I wonder if the cable company sent my account to collections yet.

 

They don’t recognize me, and I don’t know how I’d explain what happened to me if I had to.  My old name is legally erased, just another word.

 

I’m trying to trust, and my gut is telling me it’s implausible that any harm will come to me now, somehow.

 

But again, there’s this – these words, this blog.  A search-indexed transcript of many of my innermost thoughts.  What was I thinking?  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Then I promised myself that I would continue writing it; my liability, this unique record.

When I’m done thinking about it, I’m certain that perception of transgender people is so bad, so hysterically misguided, that publishing my diary can’t actually make matters worse for me.

 

for myself

Why do I sit here every other week and bleed my heart out into the aether for anyone who is listening?

I did it for myself.  The primary enemy of my transition is my own transphobia and shame.  I didn’t know this two years ago, but on instinct I endeavored to be as open as possible about all of this.  Little did I know that I was preparing myself for random people’s questions about my junk; testing my boundaries of what I am and am not comfortable sharing with others, and learning to accept myself – learning that what I’m doing is amazing and noble and worth telling the world about.

 

Because I was born a man and am somehow, mysteriously but surely, a woman.  And I have to deal with it.  I have to deal with battle royale-style arguments with religious types who want to debate my gender.  And I have to deal with colleagues of over half a decade who won’t give me the time of day.

But I did it for myself.  I had to choose between making a go of being a woman or to die trying to be a man.  I chose myself, I chose life, and I am awesome.  I’m not ashamed of that.