I am afraid.
I’m afraid that the people in my life who love and support me won’t be there soon.
I’m afraid that my parents will feel differently about me being their daughter than they have about having me as their son.
I’m afraid that the anxiety I feel about transition will be worse when I’ve come out.
I’m afraid that I won’t be good at being a woman. By pretending, I’ve become good at being a man.
Most glaringly of all, I’m afraid that the city I live in is one where violence happens to trans women.
A few nights ago a trans woman was beaten in a bar down the street from where I live. I was bold and dolled myself up one random Tuesday night and went for a walk around the block to see how it felt. Two cars pulled over because they thought I was a sex worker. One cab passed me four times, very slowly. He leered. I could feel his eyes on me. The third time he asked if I wanted a free ride. The fourth time he shouted at me and called me a ‘faggot’. This is on one walk around the block. I didn’t go out in public again for a year.
Do I transition and just never go out? Do I transition and spend a hundred thousand dollars so that no one ever knows who I was before? Some guy disappeared one night. Who is this new woman that reminds us a little bit of him?
How much of the me that I have always loved, even though it’s not been quite right ever, will remain? How much of me will be stripped away by this fear?
That me is a me that I made to live in this world. I’ve been a combination of bravado and just enough maleness that no one calls me ‘faggot’ anymore. Just enough maleness that it makes me cry. Just enough maleness that people think of me as just a different kind of guy, rather than realize that I’m not one at all.
I’m afraid that I won’t be pretty enough. I’m afraid that the only people who will desire me are those who would fetishize me.
I’ve slowly unpacked the privileges that I have had as an attractive white male from a middle class background. I’m afraid of how weak I will be without them. I’m afraid that I’ll kill myself if I don’t destroy them and be me. Who the fuck am I really? Can I let myself be weak? I’ve pretended that I’m strong for decades. And it’s worked really well.
I’m starting to feel ready for this. Seeing a doctor is just one call away. I’m afraid, but I need change because I can’t live my life in fear of what might be while my self is crushed. My fear of spending another decade not doing what I need to is far larger than the rest of my fears.
This isn’t change, this is becoming.
If you read this and understand, I wrote it so that you would know that it’s not just you. I promise you that I’m using the below information to contact the new trans health clinic in Hamilton. I’m making that promise to help me be brave. Maybe I’ll see you there. I’ll be the tall one, shaking a bit.
1st and 3rd Wednesday every month
9:30 a.m–12:30 pm.
Call to get the address, no referral needed