I believe that whoever applied the terms cis and trans to gender was a scientist with a sense of humor.
Cis and trans are terms used for two versions of a molecule that are mirror images of one another. A realistic application of these terms to human beings would be to their DNA molecules. But a mirror image of my DNA would be complete nonsense. My genes and characteristics would be garbled like a corrupted NES rom. If every cell of my body contained a mirror image of my DNA, I would die.
But I am alive; I am a beautiful freak.
I stare into space at the corner of a train window. A man walks by and makes eye contact. I know he doesn’t see me.
I feel a pain that is always with me, unknowable, annoying. It’s the feeling in your bones when you’ve been sitting for too long. I’ve never been able to shake this feeling.
A part of me is frozen and lost to my senses. It defies understanding. It is excruciating beyond words to feel what she doesn’t feel.
I will never be able to express myself to another human being. No one will see me. I will never see the light of day. I never want to feel this way again! I want to pretend that I never knew, that nothing happened, that I am not here.
I am a trans girl and I have a choice. I can ignore myself or feel the agony of knowing.
So I type at my keyboard in the dead of night. I want to know who I am.
I want to hate myself but I won’t. I know what hate is now. My appearance is changing and I’ve seen hate in the eyes of my neighbors, in strangers and in friends. My mother fears that the world will turn against me if I tell anyone. She fears that my father will turn against me and blame himself.
I know that hate stems from pain. I can’t succumb to it, I won’t.
I caught myself explaining cis privilege to my girlfriend this weekend. I’m like, “You don’t need to think about gender all the time.” I realize how ridiculous I’m being. Yes, we’ve known each other for a long time. No, I can’t actually explain what is happening. I’m sorry.
Those were the first words I spoke to her as a girl, “I’m sorry.”