“I don’t think that’s what genderfluid means”
These are the words I said to the person who prompted me to unravel my identity and that I am blessed to be spending my life with now. I felt like I knew everything then, I was fascinated, studying & little did I know- discovering.
Just before my psychosis I felt this moment of perfection that was like standing on the end of a cliff, on my tip toes. I had finally achieved “womanhood”. I was a perfect woman. But being a woman was never something you build, it’s something you are, and this is when I realized the concept held no value to me & that this verison of myself I had constructed up until this point was something I did to appease the expectations of others and not at all for myself. I fell off that metaphorical cliff.
After the psychosis. I left the man I was living with. I don’t remember if I broke up with him or what I said. I piled as much of my stuff as I could into my car and called my mom after driving a few blocks and realizing I had no plan. I’m assuming we went back for the rest later. It was a blur.
Sitting in the basement of my parents house I pushed myself to return to normalcy, but I struggled. Professional dress was hard to maintain. Who I was, was falling apart. It was before I moved back in with my parents but after the psychosis when my “name” came to me, though I wouldn’t realize I’d be needing it until almost a year later.
I was driving in my car, it was late spring or early summer. The sky was blue. It was a crisp clear thought,
But as I have said in poetry and musings and to friends, gay was just a doorway phrase. Like the bullets of cishetronormativety washed over me, like I am leaning back in a slow motion lilac verison of the Matrix and reality is bending to my will. I am who I decide to become and who I have always been.
I went on my first “gay" date in the fall.
I realized it was “more than gay”, something else was going on and brewing inside me begging to come to the surface.
I couldn’t do this at my parents house anymore. I asked three different people before someone said yes to me moving in. I was desperate to exist somewhere I thought I would be free to discover and know myself. I leaned into the song Buzzcut Season by Lorde, believing I might find some piece moving in with someone who had a pool in their apartment building. In the stage of allure, I knew my gender clearly, even though it would be six or so more months before I could articulate it clearly to others, to claim the name I had already found. I refused to choose. I knew this and myself already. I imagined my gender like five balls of light, boy, girl, both, neither, other. I said I was bigender for a while, trying to make it easy for others. I say genderfluid sometimes, trying to make it easy for others but I don’t like this idea of change between two predetermined roles, like a coin that’s being constantly flipped. I wanted to feel embodied in all, run my hand down a smooth chest and grip a breast tight. I want to hide under layers. I want to dance naked in rivers again. I don’t want to explain how I experience my body. How sensory the world is. How it is a tool to reassure me. How packers only mattered when I was being misgendered as a woman hundreds of time a day.
I tried to push down this knowing. I think about how my body started falling apart the same time gender came to be enforced on me. I think about my fears, when I knew what I wanted to do with my body 6 years ago, I drew a picture of me as I envisioned myself and how I feared I would be viewed. And how I thought the world would never have space for me to exist as this and how I cried thinking about it. How slowly I told more and more people close to me to discover support instead of hate as I delicately ventured out. I wrote a long blog on my old website about it and got an essay in response from a very concerned trans stranger who thought I was projecting trauma onto my body and rewriting my own story based on words I’d given and assumptions that trans has to be a very specific type of suffering, as if I had not suffered nor experienced similar sufferings. It was ignorant. But it made me fearful again that I was not welcome in my community nor as myself. But over and over, quietly, I have gotten a resounding yes. I cried on my 30th birthday about this, my body, I don’t want to spend my life longing for puberty to be over. I don’t feel adult, I don’t feel whole. Yes, I have been traumatized. I won’t deny the pain I have gone through, but I knew who I was before that specific pain, and I knew what I wanted.
Trans people are sacred. I believe this. I am sacred. Having been helpless to watch my friends die, early 20s, late 20s. I think about the words before a suicide. I’ve been told I inspire. That I am a beacon of light and hope. I hold these near last words in my heart like a scream “be you”, don’t be two-dimensional, don’t limit yourself, fractal out. My transition feels like more than my own, as I hold it for those who could never become and never felt whole, who were in a moment incomplete and denied the dignity of becoming and surviving. We do this for each other. No one takes away from another when we are all enabled to shine. I want to shine for you. I want to shine the way you saw me shining.
Yes, my body is informed by pain and yes my body is informed by my stories of my life, it is my story, it tells my story, and people will rip at it to try to make it into something for themselves or easier to understand. I don’t have to be easy to understand. I don’t owe that to you. But the world does owe me (and all of us) the right to become.
Thank you for your attention on this manner, I ask to be held delicately as ideally, I would be able to complete my transition & becoming without needing to ask for help. I ask for respect & dignity. I ask for no projections, speculation or satire of my being. I submit that every donation, no matter how small is a declaration that everyone should have the right to self determination of identity & to the full experience of our bodies as we are & long to be.