They chuckled at me, staring at my features attempting to confirm an underlying truth to one another in their coded language. I knew they were amused by the challenge…those Chinese bastards of whom I was to give my money and business to. They had never seen me before, but I knew that doing this would make me the better person. Comfortable with myself and my self. Eventually, I countered their stares, thanked them as sweetly as I could, and walked out with my dinner.
The Hispanic man stared at my ID that I had handed to him. Without looking back up at me, he leaned in closer to the plastic card, as if trying to confirm that his eyes and morality were not playing tricks on him. He had seen me before, but not with the eyes, hair, and clothes he identified me with. He handed it back to me, took my money, and, after counting my change for accuracy and bagging my wine, said, “you have a good evening, ma’am.” I was grateful.
Staring in my mirror, I saw all of me. The person I wished I could be. Always. The complete individual that had been hidden away for so many years under the cover of virtual shadows or religious dressings. I spoke outloud, watching her brightly painted lips move calmly as honest, heartfelt expressions of love flowed out of her, and reflect into the mirror back at me. I loved her words, her eyes, her gentle fluctuating expressions that I could see no where else but in her well-painted countenance. She was the reality I sought after. And I was the truth she had embraced.
For over a week after the talk I had with my mum, I struggled with what I am. Whether I was just playing “dress up” or if I had just convinced myself that this is who I am. I was afraid I had over-justified my actions to the point that I couldn’t make sense of why I was angry and saddened by my mum “wanting her son back” and infuriated that her b/f told me I “should have my head examined.”
All I wanted was to be comfortable in my own skin and be able to share my feelings, interests, and personality freely without being judged for not being “manly”. What I came to realize was that in my attempt to not offend or cause discomfort to people I don’t even love, I was denying myself the opportunity to reflect my feelings properly. They were being put through a filter, and that was driving me to frustration.
And then…while staring at my girlish reflection, I reached a conclusion:
Being open and receptive to the girl inside made me happiest. Staring at my reflection any other way is like staring into the face of my worst enemy. My mum saying what she said should have no bearing because she has not lost her son. I am the same person that I was before. Only now, I can remove the restraints, the weight of expectations I never had any desire to meet. I can be complete in my own being when I present as a girl/woman. It’s just the story no one ever knew existed.
Even if I am laughed at…
Even if I am disliked…disowned…
Even if the illusion is broken from showing my ID…
I have always believed that if there is something I can do, it should be done 100%. To let my own life be the exception to my own standard is something I would regret if I were to die. So…
…go ahead and don’t give a damn about me.
Laugh at me.
Don’t understand me.
Call me a fag. Ladyboy. Tranny.
I’ll become stronger because of people like them. Strong enough to live my life and be loved for who I am on the inside, not for how I dress or present myself outwardly. Fuck all of your preconceived notions of what YOU expect me to be.
It’s such a hard thing to live like this…but I believe this is right. For me. Not for you. For me. Somehow…I want to consistently walk with my head held high and not fear judgment.
I want to be honest with my reflection. I want to be happy with what I see.