Everybody’s Trans Memoir
Why Trans Stories That Don’t “Fit the Mold” Are Stories for ALL OF US.
With the cultural rise of trans rights and trans personae, no longer is the trans narrative exotic, esoteric, and unfamiliar.
Yet, there are narratives, and there are narratives. For good or for ill, Caitlyn Jenner’s 2014 coming out cemented in popular culture trans persons’ having grown up in a girl’s/boy’s body, knowing from an early age that they were rather a boy/girl.
the point of a memoir is to tell a very particular journey so that it resonates with EVERYBODY
Sounds pretty binary and one-size-fits-all. Which it is. The Greek root, “trans,” means “across from,” as in “not at home with.” There is a plethora of ways beyond a binary for anyone not to feel at home with themselves.
My story is one of those. I’m MtF trans. I’m post-op. I continue HRT. All my legal name-change/other transitions are complete. Here’s the twist: I had no inkling I was trans until I was 54 years old.
Howz that fer not fittin’ the mold?
Which is one reason why I call my memoir, How to NOT Know You’re Trans, for it recounts a lifetime of having been shut down and missing the boat as to my own true identity. There’s anxiety and depression in that story, as well as comic relief, and, ultimately, joy.
Given that title, you might think my narrative applies only to late-in-life transitioners.
But the point of a memoir is to tell a very particular journey so that it resonates with EVERYBODY.
The Odder the Better
That’s the gist of every trans person’s narrative—they’re accounts of being human. The better they tell a story of what popular culture deems an “oddball” subset of humanity, the more they resonate with everybody in every culture, time, place, and orientation. Otherwise, why would we continue to read stories of any ilk from cultures, people, and milieus far transported from the here, the now, the status quo?
Narratives pose a puzzle — namely, how did the protagonist get into this situation and how do they get out of it, to a brighter sunrise, and to a present — and future — of hope?
The subtitle of my memoir implies this—A Memoir of the Unknown Trans Person and How A Marriage Survived and Thrives Through It.
Narratives pose a puzzle—namely, how did the protagonist get into this situation and how do they get out of it, to a brighter sunrise, and to a present—and future—of hope? How the narrative shapes out and who it’s about fall into the background because, in reading it, we bring ourselves to the story and live it with the protagonist.
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