I am in pain.
I don’t know how else to start this off. I’ve tried to write this seven or eight times, often weeks apart; it keeps falling flat. It never says quite what I want it to say; I never feel like I’m capable of communicating quite what I’m feeling.
It’s a pretty universal problem in my life. I can’t speak well; often, when I find myself in conflict with other people, I stop being able to speak at all. I start, and halfway through my sentence, my voice dies. I can’t help it; it’s a part of me that I doubt I’ll ever be able to fix.
…So, I’m transgender. It’s not really something notable, I don’t think; not within pagan circles. I feel as though half the pagan blogs I cycle through are written by LGBT people of some flavor or another.
And it’s not really notable, I think, that my parents are having a hard time with my transition. It’s not really odd for parents to misunderstand; it’s not really strange that a transgender person’s parents might be a bit apprehensive. It’s not really odd that this attitude has spread to my siblings either; not odd in the slightest, unfortunately.
And yet. It still hurts. It hurts to know that I go against “every moral fiber” that my family has. It hurts to listen to them try to convince me not to “damage” my body. As if my body wasn’t already damaged by the hormones that puberty sent through my system.
It hurts to know that I’ve failed them. Because I wasn’t straight enough. Because I’m too… queer.
And what am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to not transition? I’m in pain living my life the way that I’m “supposed” too. I am transgender, and I have gender dysphoria. I can’t go on living the way that I was; I’d rather die.
I told them that. They think I’m exaggerating. Maybe I am. I don’t want to die; at the same time, I don’t want to live, either. Not as my assigned gender.
And they expect me to understand them. That’s the worst part. They refuse to understand me, or where I’m coming from; instead, they try to tell me how much I’m hurting them, how much I’m going against their moral grain. Because they’re cisgendered, and they’re straight, and at the end of the day, they will never have it in them to even try and understand- a fact that has less to do with their cisgender, straight status, and everything to do with their resistance to anything queer.
And I hurt so much. I feel so betrayed. It’s so stupid, too, because I knew how they would react.
I just didn’t think it would hurt like this.
And more and more, Sobek and Saule are fading to the background. I haven’t spoken with Saule in ages; I don’t know whether she’s still around, or whether she’s become someone else. I don’t know what’s going on.
…And, at the same time, more and more, Apollo rises to the foreground of my thoughts. I think about him all the time. I don’t know, exactly, what’s going to happen, but I trust that he’s going to stay.
I don’t know what I’m going to do from here. I don’t know what my regular life is going to look like, or what my religious life will look like, or what’s going to happen between me and my family now that I’m finally- finally- on hormone replacement therapy. I don’t know anything that’s going to happen.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe I don’t want to know. Maybe I’m better off not knowing.
But I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue fighting for myself. I’m going to continue getting up every day to go to school. I’m going to keep working at my job. I’m going to keep on going, because right now, that’s the only thing that I can do.
I’ve committed. And there will be no backing out.
Because, see, as hellish as my family life is right now, I am much happier on hormones. I feel so… normal. Taking hormones feels like I’ve put out a fire in my head that I didn’t even know was burning. It feels like sinking into a cool bath on a hot day, or coming into a warm house out of the cold. It feels normal and natural, as if it’s exactly what my body needs to function correctly. (Which, honestly, it probably is)
I wonder, sometimes, if this is how cisgender people feel all the time without hormones. I wonder if they know how lucky they are to have bodies that produce the hormones they need naturally.
And I wonder at how lucky I am that I’m even on hormones; that I’ve been given this gift of salvation, despite all the obstacles in my way; that, every day, I push dysphoria a little bit further away. I’m fortunate, and I’m lucky, and I’m blessed, and all the other good things.
My family doesn’t understand. But. I. still. have. my. pills.
And for now, that’s going to have to be good enough.
ETA: Also, here’s a shout out to my friends for supporting me through my transition. It’s had its ups and downs, and it’s been truly difficult sometimes, but there are a few good events that I wanted to highlight before I call this post “over”.
- My best friend and her boyfriend went on a road trip with me to get the prescription for hrt.
- I have two friends (both transgender) who’ve offered support through their incredibly kind offer to drive me anywhere I needed to go.
- One of these two friends also gave me the number of a local doctor who takes in transgender patients, just in case things go sideways with the hrt.
- My old roommate, the first person who I told that I was transgender, giving me nothing but love and support (and also a sundress to borrow and a shirt to keep, which was super kind of her)
- The local PFLAG giving no shits about how I indentify.
- My friends from Washington state, who told me that I could identify as a purple headed people eating monster and that they’d still love me.
- The clinic that I got my hrt prescription being nothing but professional and kind during the whole process. (It was Planned Parenthood, for what it’s worth. They’re a good bunch)
- My friend in Europe who, without question, changed the name and pronouns that he used for me.
- My aunt, who told me that she was proud of me for having the courage to be who I was.
- My uncle, who despite being confused about what, exactly, transgender was, took it in stride and proceeded to ask question after question to better understand where I was coming from.
- My other aunt, who told me that she would love me regardless of whether I was her niece and nephew.
It’s hard, sometimes, to for me to see all the support and love that I’ve been given. But I’ve been given so much of both, and I’m more grateful for that than words can ever describe.