Sometimes all you need to hatch out of your shell is to know that you’re not the first.
I suspect that for a lot of trans people, all it takes is two facts:
- You can do that?
- I can do that?
This seems so simplistic as to almost be trite yet there’s so much to unpack that I can barely contemplate the full scale and horror of it all.
Trans women appear in the media as a plot device. We’re the monster, or the threat to masculinity, or the occasional murder victim. Sometimes we exist so that a cis person’s character can be shown or grown. So that cis viewers can identify with the discomfort of the cis people on the screen. There’s almost nothing there to resonate with, to identify with. We’re props.
Cis people use our image for their own purposes and in our minds they create an image that is so other, so alien, that we cannot recognise ourselves in it. This alien image fills the space in our consciousness that should instead model real trans people and alienates us from our very souls.
To be in denial and encounter a trans person who is like you is a revelation. The sheer scale of the deception that is perpetrated upon us is horrifying to contemplate. “I can’t be trans, because I…” or “I can’t transition, because I’m not like…” — imagine it! Finally we encounter a trans person similar enough to us that the veil is pulled aside. There’s no telling if or when that can happen.
Even knowing that a trans person like you exists is only half the battle. This is why talking about #eggmode is so important. We tell ourselves that we cannot be trans or cannot transition, like thousands of trans people before us. There is no one trans narrative, no one experience of denial or knowing. All we can do is talk, talk and connect to someone else who feels the same way we once felt, and let them know that this, too, is a part of a normal trans experience. What we talk about isn’t universal, but that’s the point — we need a plurality of voices for a plurality of trans people.
I see so many people battle with whether they’re really trans, or whether it’s worth it. A lot of that uncertainty is something they have to deal with, but a lot of it is because each of us on some level transitions alone. I’d like to change that. I’d like to get each and every person to “I can do that” as fast as possible, and we can start by talking.