I’ve been home for two weeks now, and I don’t know where to begin.
I’m talking with my Mom and she thinks that I’m a healthier person than I was a year ago, and that no one will relate to me as a woman. This is uplifting and annoying – but I was expecting the worst, so I didn’t immediately absorb the impact of her words.
I’m walking down the street and for a second I could have sworn I was dreaming. I spend the rest of the day wishing I was, and that I would wake up.
I’m hanging out with my Dad and I can’t tell him anything about myself, anything new. He asks what’s on my mind and I tell him nothing, just some random memory. It’s all I can do to keep from bursting into tears.
I see those Macy’s posters that just say ‘believe’ with their oddly beautiful cover girl and I wonder if she’s a real person.
When I get home and throw my pocket debris on the table, I notice this pack of gum. It reads, “Neither just sweet nor just peppermint, sweet peppermint is suffering from a delicious identity crisis… but he’s a little sensitive about it, so we’ll leave it at that.” The inside is covered with graf-style Queen of Hearts and King of Hearts scenes of chaos. And a strangely anthropomorphic pair of scissors cutting a playing card in half. If you turn the pack upside down, there’s a manish queen with a Jay Leno chin, more chaos. I was dumbstruck.
“Don’t think about the future. Don’t think about the past. Look at what’s in front of you. Please, just focus.”
I put one foot in front of the other, not thinking of who I am, how I’m coming across, what I’ll ever do about any of it. It’s numbing. And I fear the truth, that I can’t.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. I tell myself that it’s over, that the worst is behind me, that it’s not necessary, that I don’t have time and I’m hungry, that I shouldn’t write when I’m tired.
But someone said that I handle the things I write about so gracefully. This gives me hope; and wrending, vertigo-inducing dissociation.
And part of me feels nothing at all – It’s not fair.
I am beginning to feel better about being trans. I don’t feel the burden to tell everyone that I talk to, which was awkward. I’m not as worried about my future and how things are going to become. I feel more in control of the process, if it is a process.
I met up with my friends the other day, people I haven’t seen in a couple of months. I was avoiding them during the worst of my gender existential crisis because I didn’t want to seem stressed-out for no apparent reason. I wasn’t prepared to face the old boys club, the circle of guy friends I’ve known for years.
Anyway, I finally met them for a movie but I was nervous. I really wanted to tell them what’s been going on, why we haven’t seen each other. I wanted to tell them that I’m transgender. I’d been thinking about how I was going to say this for days. There’s no elegant way to say what I wanted to say, nothing that would avoid a litany of awkward questions.
We were hanging out after the movie and there was no way I could tell them. It wasn’t worth it. I went home and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was surprised, floored, that an enormous burden was lifted from my mind and body. I didn’t have to tell everyone. It’s not always relevant. I am what I am. Some people may see it and others may not, I don’t need to turn it into a discussion or a debate. It was one of those duh moments.
All of this is happening very quickly. I practically woke up one day and realized I’m trans. And life is profoundly less predictable because I realize that anything can happen. But it also means that the clouds can clear just as quickly and chaotically as they appeared. There is hope in unpredictability. Even good things can happen.