“In the beginning…”
…There was a baby born. To two gentle, loving parents. This baby was given a name. A birth certificate. A home. And a personal number on a tiny card bracketing this innocent little person into a social scheme of roles, expectations, rules, and conflict.
This child was raised in the fashion as most normal children are…toys every Christmas. A new book bag for school each year. Dirt-smudged nose and hands from playing outside, building eternal cities of childhood made from Lego’s, Matchbox cars and a few of Dad’s old tools. Scraped knees and elbows from learning to ride a bike. A favorite teddy to sleep with at night. Evenings spent on Grandma’s lap watching old black and white comedies, the feint scent of leather, coffee and Avon products lulling the child to sleep. On to the teenage years of smoldering emotions and crazy hormones, growling at parental berating, locked in to a pair of headphones on a near-daily frequency, awkward social encounters and a fantasy of a future outside of “home”. Rigorous homework studies. Music lessons (spurred on by a deep love for a career in the music industry). And the preparations for college…
College. The big step in any youngsters life. Debt. Long hours spent on homework, and papers hurriedly thrown together last minute. New and exciting social encounters…filled with new-found emotions; tears of happiness, tears of sadness, heartbreak, hope, jealousy, and love. A sense of….self-awareness…began dawning in those college years. This child – now an adult – saw the first few seeds of self-awareness planted. No one is to blame nor thank. Fate has a way of planting seeds at the right time, nourishing those seeds with the rain of heartache and the sunshine of happy moments….allowing nature to take its course as is intended. College comes and goes. The move back home is long and tedious. Family. Blood is thicker than water, right? Well, some people are even thicker in the ol’ noggin. Awkward confrontations, coupled with the restless ambition to cut the apron strings for good, this adult-child moved to a small Podunk town, hoping to start over.
Officially away from home, the excitement wore off, as it usually does. Bad decisions. Poisonous relationships, under the guise of happily-ever-after. And all the while, this…self-awareness…is there. Prodding. Poking a little harder than before. Standing in front of the door to the real person on the inside, gently whispering, “Come out…come out…wherever you are…”.
And in October of 2014, the real true adult-child stepped forward. Opened the door and let self-awareness in…offering it a home…a warm bed…healthy food..and a happiness beyond anything you could imagine. But..as always happens with happiness, there were also the tragedies and failures. The tears and doubts for the future.
That real true adult-child? Yup. That’s me. In the flesh. This is my story. In a very simplified form, granted, but hey you have to start somewhere.
This story, right here, is how so many of our brothers’ and sisters’ stories begin. It begins at the very beginning. And it doesn’t get any easier. As trans, we are born twice. Once, into a body – that is not our own – and a second time, in self-awareness. It’s a grueling process, that sense of self-awareness. Everyone has their own self-awareness to come in to, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, color, nationality, religious choice and so on.
For the transgender soul….it’s most difficult, as society has these…roles, or a box if you will. Inside this box are squares and circles. And these squares and circles are only color coded in black and white. Well…along comes a triangle…and this triangle is kind of grayish colored. The circles and squares immediately freak out, not knowing what to do with this weird colored object that isn’t shaped the way they are. So, naturally, as is – unfortunately – instinctual to something unknown, the squares and circles start pushing this poor triangle out of the box…treating it as something unnatural or abnormal.
This is how society treats transmen and transwomen. Because in a society of black and white squares and circles, the majority of people instinctively freak out when a grayish colored triangle appears in their orderly box. Which is where advocacy, education, visibility and patience – from everyone involved – play the part in merging the triangles into this orderly box….because in geometry….a triangle is just as much a shape as a square or a circle!