Cw: for transphobia, racism, homophobia, dysphoria and curse words
First I want to acknowledge that there are many many ways in which I have privilege, even within the transgender community. This world targets transfeminine individuals and especially transfeminine woc. We need to do better as a society, at protecting and respecting these women and femmes from violence, erasure, and death.
I am starting out from a place of dysphoria right now. Between poverty, acute asthma, and a baby under one who is still primarily exclusively nursing for sustenance. I am struggling under the weight of that, and have been for a few months. This time that started out as an awkward feeling of lumpy disatisfaction with my gender presentation and has slowly grown.
Different things have made that worse, primarily the current “political” climate and the return of my cycle which is causing long stretches of really terrible hormonal anxiety.
Over the last year things have gotten more and more strained here in the buckle of the bible belt. This has gotten a million times worse since Donald Trump and these Bathroom Bills have legitimized many forms of bigotry over the last few months with the local mostly white, mostly Christian, mostly working to lower middle class population.
To the point now that something that used to be the high point of my nesting partner and I’s week, going for lunch and getting groceries, is now just draining.
See I don’t pass, but I don’t look feminine or womanly either. I present as fairly masculine, as a genderqueer, non-binary, transmasculine person I love that. I love myself, I am good with all that…more or less even my lumpy bits I have a complex affection for at this point in my life.
People are the damn problem…who have recently taken to open and aggressive staring.
It seems that since my presentation has gotten more masculine post baby, and Milton who doesn’t fit their racist stereotypes for what they think black men should look like, has been coupled with the previously mentioned social climate changes and has given bigots permission to stare balefully, scowl, mutter, and sometimes whisper and point.
It seems that not only are we just out there, never you mind, being an interracial couple in public, we have a queerness to us now as well, maybe I tickle their “evil” trans person radar. I don’t know, but it sucks the joy out of most trips, Milton is always on his guard looking for trouble, and I am on my guard keeping the kids focused on us and not worried. It’s pretty exhausting for both of us.
It doesn’t really go away at home either. My social media universe is drenched in gender essentialism and out dated or plain incorrect language, primarily from well intended allies. I swear I may cry or throw a well earned tantrum, the next time I have to read the word transgendered.
But still I look at these pictures of myself and my family and I know I am on the right path. I love my partners, I love my children with the power of the stars. I don’t regret a second, I won’t live any other life, I won’t hide, I won’t try to wedge myself into the woman slot again. I would not have it any other way. But fuck these bigots. Fuck these people who want to control our bodies, our lives, our humanity. fuck all the strangers who stare at my body like chunks of rotten meat as they try to decide whether they think I am a man or a woman, as they decide whether they believe I deserve basic human dignity. Fuck all the people who stare at us with aggression in their eyes and disgust tattooed across their faces.
I will not be let this break me, beat me, destroy me. I will not let it win.
But damn, some days it is exhausting.