Being able to write is liberating, even if no one reads the words, that’s not what matters. What matters is I declutter everything that I have trouble with, I think therapists call that decompartmentalization. The truth is, I never write entirely what I’m thinking or what I feel. I find it hard, to be honest with myself, let alone everyone else. I wouldn’t say I’m lying, I just choose to ignore things. Thoughts, memories, what I see in the mirror sometimes.
Problems seem to pile up, inward problems. They scatter around my head and it’s hard to drown it out. I try music, exercise, my job – nothing seems to work, not in the long run anyway. I wish I was brave enough to write down everything I think and feel, I’m going to try, not in this space. I think if I’m going to start writing down everything then it needs just to be for my eyes, at least, for now.
One thing I struggle with, that I think about a lot, is my choice to be ‘stealth’, to keep my transition a secret. When I use my brain, that makes a lot of sense. I moved over 100 miles away from my home so I could have a fresh start, away from everyone who knew the old me. I didn’t want anyone here to know what came before Nathan, to them, I am what I am. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t acknowledging to people I am transgender basically be telling them what’s in my trousers? It’s not exactly an appropriate topic of conversation. Yet, my heart, it tells me that I’m keeping a secret, that I’m not being true to myself, that I am ashamed of who I am. Which is true, I do feel ashamed, I feel shame when I see how I look without my clothes, that I don’t match up to who I truly am.
People started to say things about me in my seminars, one of my ‘friends’ told me that people kept asking her if I was transgender. That she thought so too. I didn’t know what to do, I just laughed it off, and joked “Well I’m not going to be offended because then that’s derogative to transgender people and I’m a supporter.” But then she started to make jokes, she kept calling me transgender, saying “which bathroom do you use?” I laughed, I don’t know why I laughed, what she was saying was wrong. She said before that she had once thought she had meant to be a boy but it was a phase, and that she was bisexual, so why was she making these jokes? More importantly, why was I letting her make them, why was I laughing too?
When she commented on my profile picture of my girlfriend and me, “what a cute pair of lesbians” I didn’t know what to do. We were away in London, I just wanted to have a nice time, so I deleted the comment and I didn’t tell my girlfriend. In the beginning, people always would call us lesbians, and that label didn’t apply to us, it caused a lot of problems with my identity issues, and my girlfriends, because we were not that label, but everyone thought it was a funny joke to make.
Like the idiot I am, when the girl mentioned I had deleted the comment I just laughed it off. Because I am a coward. What I wanted to say was that I am transgender, and what she said was offensive, insensitive, and even if I wasn’t, she still shouldn’t say things like that. But I’m scared because I know then everyone would find out, and even though we live in a more open society, other guys scare me. Every time I go into the guy’s toilets and there is a gap between the stall wall and the ceiling I’m scared someone is going to look over and see that I have a prosthetic, that they’ll hurt me.
Honestly, I struggle every day. Somedays it is easier, other days, it is the worst I’ve felt so far. It’s hard to look at the positives when it feels as if more negatives are delivered through my front door every time I wake up. I always seem to be kicked when I am down – like the world doesn’t want me to get up, but I keep going, what else is there to do?
I might be sat here right now, regretting the things I didn’t say, or the things that I have said. Kicking myself over how many times I’ve shut myself in the bathroom crying, or I’ve yelled at my girlfriend out of frustration, how jealous I have become of other guys – but I’m still going. I’m not going to stop until I get where I want to be, soon, I will look in the mirror and not see regrets, but be proud of who’s looking back at me.