I’m Trans and I Didn’t Do Anything for Trans Awareness Week
It was Trans Awareness Week in mid-November, culminating in the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20. I didn’t do anything to commemorate the occasion. I didn’t change any of the profile pictures on my numerous social media accounts. I didn’t light a candle. I didn’t write an article, even when encouraged to do just that for my own self-serving interest in exposure for the “trans” memoir I just published. I just let it pass.
I had wanted to do something. I’d planned on doing something, but upon reflection, it has occurred to me my feelings about the event may have been more complicated than I had realized. All week, I felt emotionally paralyzed by the complexity of my inner conflict, so nothing came out.
I am trans. At least, that is the part of my identity one might assume would unite me to the spirit and intentions of Trans Awareness Week. One could also presume my membership in the distinctly marginalized “T” of the historically disparaged acronym, LGBT, would grant me legitimate access to the warmth and conciliatory comfort of solidarity within a community distinguished by exceptional resilience and rare beauty. To think that would not be inaccurate, but it would not be the entire truth.
I am white. I lived most of my life as a white female. I was masculine in features and demeanor. I was a butch dyke. I experienced a typical amount of harassment, contempt, and violence as a female in American culture. As a lesbian, I was banned, removed, dismissed, and assaulted within the standard variance of frequency and magnitude according to the zeitgeist of the decades. The harshest reprisals for the sin of my existence were always reserved for my masculinity, but I endured no surprising treatment at the hands of popular American brutality.
The contradiction presented by visible breasts, a smooth and rounded jawline, and high voice against cropped hair, boxy clothes, defiant posture, and hubris is the locus of rage and terror for those that cling to arbitrary imperatives. But, that objection to my masculinity as a woman did not merely exist in others. The truly sinister consequence of the antediluvian fraud of cultural gender norms is developing as a human with that same rage and terror…