I have been thinking really hard about what it means to me to be trans. I came to the conclusion that it is like having an inoperable brain tumor. Instead of some biochemical trigger that turns healthy cells into malignant ones there is a trigger that causes your feeling of being correctly gendered to switch sides. For many that switch was turned on at birth. For others like myself that switch was started in motion until after years and years of silently moving it makes the new connection. Pop, the light goes on and in that new light your life changes literally overnight.
The thoughts and feelings that were hinted at and hidden or ignored now take on new meaning. Suddenly you know deep inside that something was wrong; out of place. A boys longing to play with dolls or wear pretty dresses; a girl’s yearning to play football or hockey like the other boys. No matter who you are or think you are those feelings are common amongst us trans folk. Feelings we dare not express because society tells us they are wrong or evil. These thoughts are so powerful they drive some to destroy themselves through drugs, alcohol, or suicide. For others the same thoughts cause them to live in shame and fear for their entire lives. For those like myself they open new vistas I you are string enough to embrace them. Unfortunately those thoughts are also linked to a pandora’s box. Once opened it cannot be closed. Once said it cannot be taken back.
Those around us; family, friends, lovers; they watch us peer into the box. They watch as we get sucked in. The pull becomes too great and no matter how hard or how tight their grip fails and you fall in. Sometimes those loved ones are so strong they can pull you back for a time only to see you start to slip away again.
You fight it yourself. You constantly say this isn’t happening. You DO NOT want to change. You don’t want to lose everything. Clawing and tearing your way, you reach to top and start to climb out. But it’s only a matter of time until you start to slide back down.
Compromises and promises are made to slow your progress. These made be based on truth and sincerity. They may be the only thing holding you together. But, the pull is always there altering the compromise or distorting the promises.
For those who make it this far we find a strength to go on. A strength few alive today can know. It is a strength that many have called truly heroic. That strength can give us the ability to accept ourselves. Some may use it to hold on to what they have making peace with their trans selves and continue with their ‘normal’ lives. Others use that strength to forge on trying to discover meaning behind their nature and to find happiness as their true selves.
I am using this strength to claw out a spot in the middle. I want to keep something of my former life. Namely my wife and family. But I also need to express my true gender to ease the dysphoria. There are times I find myself slipping and have to dig my nails in deeper to claw myself back. Eventually this could end up as a losing battle but I have to try.