I have not just changed my clothes and hair and voice and name. I have not simply changed my face and chest and genitals. I have crossed from one dimension to another and have been reborn into a new being.
We try to strip the magic away from being transgender. We insist we are perfectly normal variations in the human experience with deep historical and cultural histories, observable scientific phenomena, prescribed medical interventions. We are quite mundane. All we want is to live our authentic lives, be accepted by our community and society, go to the grocery store and use the restroom in peace. We are not mentally ill, we are not confused about who we are, this is not some split personality disorder. All very true.
And where’s the fun in that? We have to try so hard to appear safe and harmless and mundane there’s no room to be an imperfect being, to say nothing of a magical one.
I want to be seen as an upstanding contributing member of society. My transition was not a crime. It was not something I inflicted on my victimized family, on my son. I did not rip my family apart, betray and cheat on my wife, obliterate my son’s father, spit on my parents, and endanger the moral fabric of my nation!!
Except…a little bit, I did…and that’s still OKAY.
There are very few of us who get here in innocence. The younglings perhaps, those amazing transgender kids of the 21st century who are allowed to be who they are from an early age and transition before or right after puberty. By the time I finally came out with it I had to fight my way through a lifetime of living as a closeted man, my urges sexualized and driven by testosterone and shaped by so many layers of shame I can’t count them.
In the end I suppose it WAS all perfectly mundane. An infidelity, a series of increasingly elaborate lies while the truth slowly worked it’s way to the surface. Then the release of the truth and the exhilarating freedom of finally living as my heart desired all the while navigating the dissolution of my marriage while keeping our son safe and secure. We transitioned together even as we came apart and I’m eternally grateful for that, although she wishes I would have just left her in peace. Again. Not perfect. Selfish even.
Still, there was s magic…or at least for me, that’s how I chose to view it.
CHANGING MY SHAPE, CHANGING MY SOUL, EVOLVING INTO A NEW BEING.
While I took all those baby steps, experienced all these rights passage–the first trip out in women’s clothes, the first trip to the grocery store, the first pickup at my son’s school, the various comings out to friends and family in person and finally online and on Facebook with great fanfare. All perfectly normal and routine in 2016 when it seemed like the entire world was discovering and discussing the transgender experience.
Still, for me it was a deep and profound process of awakening and crossing over. I chose to view us as two different people who inhabit the same vessel. I chose to embrace the feeling of magic and spirit that brought me into existence.
I am not the person I was when I started. He and I are different.
He and I have been negotiating over my existence since forever, at times we have cooperated and at times we went to war. He agreed to let me out when we were 21. He was excited and happy for me, but then he became ashamed and irritated by me. He wanted to assert control, and he did so in the most destructive ways. Things got very dark. He drank and ate and descended into depression and I was abandoned and ignored while I pleaded for him to let me out, to let me help him. Instead I was locked away, he locked me in a box, he sat on my chest until I couldn’t breathe and eventually I was buried under layers of thick black obsidian glass and I was GONE.
——to be continued