Truth: I Feel Lonely Even Inside My Chosen Queer Communities

Being Trans, Feeling Rejected: Alone in a crowd of people

Feeling rejected even in the LGBTQ+ Community

Emma Holiday
Prism & Pen
Published in
4 min readApr 4, 2024


There are different kinds of loneliness. Some are more painful than others. There is loneliness during the holidays and loneliness away from home — both unpleasant. But I think that loneliness in a crowded room is a particularly terrible form of loneliness.

It is the loneliness that I feel right now. It is as if a part of me is behind a soundproof one-way glass wall. I see and hear everyone but they can only see a small portion of me. The portion that I allow them to see, the portion I am allowed to show to maintain the external life I created to exist in this world.

They don’t see me.

The fact that they don’t see me creates this loneliness and it is all my fault. I erected the one-way glass wall because I didn’t want them to see me, the real me, the transgender me. I fear rejection of who I am, of what I am. I don’t want the ones I love to be subjected to the shame of association. I don’t want to lose the world that I can operate in without criticism and ridicule.

Sometimes I feel isolated within the LGBTQ+ community as well. We are all so diverse and we all suffered the unique battering and emotional bruising we experienced from our own letter in “LGBTQ+”. It is easy to feel like our pain is only our own. How can anyone else truly understand our unique lifetime of pain?

By doing that we isolate ourselves.

There is another type of isolation in the LGBTQ+ community: outright rejection. As a transgender woman, I have read, heard, and felt rejection of it. I have felt rejected not only by the straight community but by members of the gay and lesbian communities as well. They are all cisgender, so the transgender experience is alien to them all. For many, my legitimacy and even existence are not only challenged, they are completely and immediately rejected. It is painful enough to hear rejection from members of the straight community but to hear it from those I thought were allies is an even more painful blow.

When I feel rejected I find I shut down and hide for my protection. I can’t bear the pain of rejection on these levels. It isn’t all the time but when it occurs, it hurts more when it comes from an ally.

I live in NYC and I don’t know where I can be accepted, or where I belong; gay bars, lesbian bars, or straight bars? Where can I be me where people not only see me but want to be with me, as me?

Maybe I’ll just stay home and watch movies on NETFLIX.

I guess it’s true, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Emma Holiday

Writers note: If you have read any of my writings on Medium you will have noticed a definite theme: the incredible pain of gender dysphoria and all the difficult aspects of just being transgender.

My writing has three specific goals:

1. Writing is my therapy. I have a very limited outlet for my thoughts so I write to find a way to process the most profound experience in my life. I need to understand and I need to accept myself to move forward.

2. Being transgender, for me, is a very lonely existence and if I can share some of the things that I feel and think as I go through the process of transitioning with others who are transgender and, in some way, lessen their pain and sense of loneliness, then all of this public exposure of my personal thoughts is not a waste.

3. I write to help cisgender people understand that all trans people want is to be simply understood, accepted, and treated as a normal person.

We are.

This story was written in response to this Prism & Pen Prompt:

You can read more incredible responses to the prompt here:

P & P Prompt Stories: Truth: Loneliness In Queer Community

7 stories
A man stands under a shower head and looks at the camera
A person walking away from the viewer toward a fork in the road surrounded by trees. “Two roads diverged in a wood…”



Emma Holiday
Prism & Pen

After decades of denial I finally answered the question “What’s wrong with me?” The answer is “Nothing”. I am transgender and I am OK.