As I was watching Jazz Jennings on YouTube I realized something kind of sad about myself. She said, “I didn’t wake up one day and decide that I wanted to be a girl. It just always knew and started expressing myself that way. I told my parents, ‘I’m a girl’ and gravitated towards girlie things. And for some people, the reason they transitioned so later in life is because they displayed those signs and they knew they were the opposite gender but when they told everyone in society it was kind of shut down and they had to suppress their emotions for so many years until they finally had the courage to express themselves authentically.” I realized that throughout my childhood that person was my father. I wanted nothing more than to have a BMX bike that I could do tricks on and ride around in the dirt but I was forced to have a girl bike with a banana seat. Never wore makeup yet that was what he always bought me for Christmas. Little things like that to try and break the person I knew myself to be. Probably wasn’t done on purpose but I feel that I missed out on so much because of this. So many experiences, happiness, the list is long.
She goes on to say that as transpeople we have the right to be annoyed when someone uses the wrong pronouns. Once someone tells you what pronouns they use and then you continuously start messing up it’s very hurtful and we don’t understand why you’re doing that. It sometimes feels like it’s on purpose.
I have a very devout Christian friend that uses my preferred name and pronouns about 90% of the time and we’ve been friends 27 years. A woman that I work with gets my name and pronouns correct and she hates me with every fiber of her being, yet my family is incapable of calling me anything but female pronouns and using my dead name. I have cancelled outings or not gone to their home when I wanted, or even called, because I just can’t deal with the depression that follows these encounters. Especially since I have gone through top surgery now. I pass until someone opens their mouth and says ‘she would like’ or uses my dead name when trying to get my attention. I can’t begin to say how angry and hurt this makes me feel. At first I understood that I went by that name for many, many years and that it would take time. It’s been 2 years of me using the same pronouns and name! You’d think one would be able to get it right by now. Mentally I just can’t do it anymore. I’d rather stay at home and be a recluse than to have to deal with that any longer.
This post will probably make people angry and whatnot but I just don’t care anymore. It’s my mental health that is at risk here. I have enough mental issues without throwing mental abuse on to the heap. Yes, I used mental abuse because it’s just as painful as any other type of mental abuse. When I came out on Facebook I started it off by saying, “So-and-so has passed away…”. This is true. That person doesn’t exist. She is dead and will forever be dead. I am here now. I was hiding in her shadow all these years but I have finally been set free, I walked out of her shadow, and I will never go back! I am a man.