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.
You know you’ve been gone for a long time when your stationary smells like toothpaste. But I’m back home now, surrounded by familiar stuff that I’d forgotten about.
This first week has been weird, in a good way. I feel like my gender-dysphoric issues, things that I awkwardly speak about, are a weight that has been set down. I feel like myself, I like myself, life is fun. I can breathe.
It started when I considered auditioning for The Vagina Monologues, which my department is putting on for V-day. It’s that time of year. The idea of auditioning was in the back of my mind and I mentioned it to Leia, who basically dared me to do it. So I read the book. Surprisingly, I never read The Vagina Monologues. I vaguely remember picking it up and finding it painful to read. But reading it now, I really enjoyed it. There’s even a trans women’s monologue that Eve Ensler added in 2004 (she published the original version in 1998). It’s the only passage I could really relate to or envision performing in front of people, so I prepared to audition for that part.
I was really nervous. So I was greatly relieved and disappointed when I found out that the script, the official 2014 V-day version of The Vagina Monologues, does not include the trans women’s monologue They Beat the Girl out of My Boy… or so They Tried.
Why? I have no idea. I know it’s been performed for V-day before. The passage does seem like an anachronism in a classic work of nonfiction – to tack the contemporary experiences of trans women onto a work that ushered in acceptability of the word vagina.
‘You mean grown-ups couldn’t say vagina either??’
Yet, I couldn’t help feeling left out. Could this just be another instance of transphobia?
Then a couple of days passed and I got over it.