Monday, February 22, 2016


I used to write about my gender with a passion I haven't been able to feel in quite some time, and while that may seem depressing at first, I have come to realize that it's more of a testament to the distance traversed by the ripples of my masculinity in a culture of white, cisgender gay men seemingly obsessed with such hyperbolic representations. I am only occasionally reminded of my differences, and lately, the ones who've been reminding me of those differences--the ones who have shut me and others not "fortunate" enough to have had top surgery completely out of the picture--have been trans men. It is also not lost on me that these men tend to be young, fit, predominantly white, cis-passing transmen. Rather than feeling "not trans enough" for most of my community, I now feel as if I'm too trans. 

My unmarked body may one day become home to long-awaited scars.
Or it may not.

Though the men who call me brother may agree that we are all immigrants to this land of culturally recognized masculinity, I cannot hear them through the wall their xenophobia has built. I pose with my hands above my head in hopes that my citizenship will not be denied, knowing quite fully that sneaking across the border does nothing to save those who've already failed by not passing. We watch through cracks in the wall, listening to speeches littered with self-congratulatory proclamations of acceptance and equality. It's so loud that I think my ears may bleed before my breasts: "MAKE TRANS GREAT AGAIN!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I've been caught between rock bottom and the vision of what my future has the potential to hold. If the last seven months have taught me anything, it is that outside factors have the ability to change your circumstances within seconds, while internal forces effect change at a much slower rate. It's been a long journey--one whose beginning isn't exactly a finite point in time. As each day goes by, I tend to feel like the clock is ticking, like time is working against me. But these last few weeks especially have taught me that time is not the real enemy. I am.

More specifically, my subconscious fear of asking for help has probably had more to do with my inability to move forward in the ways I desire. My fear of failure also has an enormous impact on my levels of confidence and motivation, but even when I manage to temporarily surmount those, I seem to fall short again and again. As I've started to become a part of the "real" world again, I am realizing how painfully limited I have allowed my circle and life to become. It wasn't a conscious decision at first. At a time when I was giving so much of myself to everyone around me, I could already feel the pressures of having to be unbreakable. When I first lost the community I had worked so hard to build back in 2012 due to both financial and personal troubles, I started to feel the extent of my brokenness--a feeling that has stayed with me to this moment. But I also started to close myself to the forces that allowed me to become so broken in the first place. Year after year, I gave a little bit less each time a new friendship loomed on the horizon, each time someone in my community needed my help. It was out of nothing more than self-preservation that I began to do this. But I've come to realize that I've been doing this for so long that I may have forgotten how to be strong, not only for others but for myself as well.

Here I am now with all these dreams and desires, knowing that I cannot achieve them alone, without a community behind me. Some of this is my own doing, but I cannot help but think that so many of the people I helped along the way--even considered friends--have turned their backs on me. I see them occasionally, and it's almost visible in their eyes the amount of discomfort they feel around me, and I wonder if that is because the also know that they did nothing for me when I was in need of the most help. I'm still struggling to rebuild myself and my ability to connect with other people, which isn't easy with all of this on my mind.

I know I do not belong here. We have six months to decide where our journey will take us. Ironically, we feel that we need to move further away from the people we know in order to grow in our ability to connect. I don't know where we'll end up. I wonder if I will have a choice.

My mother said something to me the other day that has been with me ever since. I'd never thought about it before. We were texting about life and jobs, and at one point, I ended up saying, "I don't know what I'll become." Her response left me speechless:

"I still don't know what I want to be either."

Maybe I have more time than I thought. I still cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I may be getting closer to finding the tools I need to light my own way.