I had thought that there was nothing I would like, just for me, for Mother’s Day. But I was wrong. I would like (*esPEciALLy*) Trans Equality, along with everyone else, to stop with the “born a boy” phrasing. If someone describing their own journey says “I was born a boy,” sure, fine, whatever.

But I was not born a boy. I was born a girl, and designated male at birth. And here’s the thing: even in a case where a trans woman says she was born a boy, saying that she was designated male at birth remains factually correct, and challenges neither her expression of her own understanding of herself, nor mine, nor anyone else’s who was designated male at birth.

Fun fact, cis boys were also designated male at birth. It just wasn’t ever a problem for them.

“Designated male at birth” also remains true for trans women whose understandings of themselves shifts over time. I don’t remember whether I ever described myself, After (realizing I was a girl), as having been “born a boy.” But I can say that if or where I did, it wasn’t because it was accurate about me or my life. It was because that was the closest explanation available to me, and I hadn’t come up with something more accurate. It was because people were saying that girls like me were born boys.

To say that I was born a boy is to say — not imply, but SAY — 
 that at some point I became a girl (which is facially untrue), because I was originally a boy (also facially untrue).

My gender has always been what it is. In evidence is the deep and persistent discomfort throughout my entire life until I consciously realized and acknowledged my actual gender, at which point my decades of depression vanished in an instant. Literally in less than a second.

Also in evidence is the persistence of that state, freed from unrelenting depression. Before, I could laugh at a funny movie or whatever, but I could not feel joy. My default state was misery. Now, I can be brought low by very sad things, but my default state is joyful, present, here.

Further, upon starting HRT and replacing the testosterone in my body with estrogen, I felt okay in my own skin in a way I had not known was possible. I never had a way to even understand it until starting HRT. The simplest way for me to explain this is to ask you to imagine the worst temporary pain you have experienced in your life, but as a constant, a thing you don’t even have a way to understand your life without. And then imagine that one day, it is gone, all because you realized that 2+2=4, and not 5.

Then imagine that people tell you, when your deepest pain has been revealed and you have finally begun to address it and heal, that 2 and 2 always makes a 5, that you are a monster for doing this, and that you must be out to rape their daughters. Just, casually, as if it’s as indisputable as time or gravity. While you are deeply enjoying the simple peace of washing dishes by hand with presence and awareness, people threaten to kill you for going to a public restroom.

It’s weird. Seriously, cis fantasy about me and my life and what I am, it’s weird as shit. Why do you think I just show everything about my life on this page? No matter how weird I EVER get, I never approach the level of weird y’all try to staple to me. I couldn’t if I tried. But please, go on about my freakish sex life and how you’d ogle high school girls if you could, so you know everyone else would, too. Think about that. Upon whom does that reflect, Mike Huckabee​, et al? You are telling people what you would do. What you would do. If left alone with teenage girls. What you would do. What YOU would do.

While I did not Realize (that I had always been a girl), while I tried to live in opposition to that fact, I suffered, and thus so did those around me. The women who met me Before came away damaged, to some degree, when they got too close. The women who meet me now, for the most part, call me an inspiration, the kind of woman they’d like to be. Shit like that. I don’t know. Ask them. I really try to avoid telling other people’s stories for them. I know what hell it is to suffer that.

If you want your daughters to stay away from me, you’re going to have to talk to them about it yourself. I’m not going to them. They’re coming to me. All. The. Time. And before you backfill this with your shitty weird cis horror fantasy reason why, no. Just no. I’ll tell you why they do it:

Because I make no demands of them. I permit them to be as they are, I accept them, and I love them. I thank them for being honest about themselves, to themselves, and sharing that with me. I hope you will consider trying this, trying to see people this way. Especially yourself.

Happy Mother’s Day, Internet. Be safe. I love you. Yes, even you. 🙏🏼