easy target

renai_968This past Sunday was the first time my older brother got a clear look at me as Ren.

Not much occurred in those few moments. I was rushing around to gather up a few things from down stairs, passing through the dining room and kitchen, before heading out to meet my friends for birthday shenanigans. He was prepping food for himself in the dining room.

He said hi.

I said hi and waved.

He asked me if I was going to a [anime] convention, as he has equated glimpses of me in similar outfits with me leaving for a day or more.

I usually agree just to get him off my back. This time, however, I said the truth.

No, I’m going out with friends.

And that was that.

I wasn’t planning on going out that way – my friends didn’t even know – but something clicked with me after a late-night conversation with a close friend of mine. It wasn’t anything she said in particular, but her openness and willingness to accept me for me, not for my physical biology struck a chord in my soul.

In the moment of awakening, I had already made up my mind that this is my life. No one is going to live it but me. People will not understand and feel like they can judge because it’s not something they’re used to. Though I will not put myself in a dangerous situation of being overwhelmed, something as simple as wearing whatever the hell I want to wear should never be dictated by the feelings or standards of another.

I’ll admit I’ve had these priceless moments of explosive self-acceptance and FUCK-IT mindsets before. They served me well each time, but I was still creeping. Hiding. Calculating timing. Covering my appearance.

This time was different. 2 1/2 hours later, I looked damn beautiful, and I wasn’t about to let my brother’s presence keep me from walking confidently to do what I wanted to do.

Needed even.

Since then, nothing has quite been the same in his mind regarding me. I was hoping that wouldn’t happen. However, he is still going through his ADHD manic-type issue.

So he talks. A lot more than what is usual.

He has brought up my outfit, albeit in no one else’s presence but the two of us, and asked me generic questions. Like if my friends were “dressed up” too. Saying things like, “So they’re normal?” and then turning around saying surprisingly nice things like, “You’re an adult and you can do whatever you want to do.” Under my breath I was still offended, but I left it alone.

Today, while conversing with my mum’s b/f, he said the following:

Again, I was busy doing the whole self-employed thing and just left it alone…

…until he started saying some high-and-mighty shit after I picked him up later this evening. Long story short, he claimed he has been trying to give me encouraging words and say good things to me, and, having already pissed me off prior for another issue related to me still living at home, made me draw out what he said earlier. He then denied it, and, when he couldn’t deny it anymore, kept saying that “he didn’t mean it in a bad way.”

At this point, it didn’t matter what he said. I was pissed, offended, annoyed, and it was affecting my acceleration. Yah, I was still driving.

“…What I’m trying to say is that when I see you in those crazy outfits, it freaks me out-“

“YOU DON’T KNOW ME, ALRIGHT?! NONE OF YOU DO!”

At that point, I had pulled up to the house and went inside without another word.

Despite how angry I felt, I never allowed myself to succumb completely to it. Years of restraint & past mistakes taught me how to control myself and not snap. He came to my door later to apologize and all that. There were flashes of me wanting to try to explain to him what all this really was, but I knew that he was not the family member I wanted to reveal the truth to just yet.

My time on Sunday was full of great memories celebrating the birthdays of the couple who also are my friends. Nothing went wrong, and…

Like I said, I looked damn good.

I told them about my recent therapy session and how that motivated me to come out as Ren that day. Don’t think my artsy friend quite understood my needs and my heart until that day. Beyond simply feeling at ease on a physical level, the mental notes I took throughout the day was something I glad I did.

The level of happiness I felt…

The comfort of being in the clothes I liked…

The awareness of not being looked at by a male when purchasing lunch…

The way I no longer feel like I need to censor my actions and my feelings…

The multiple times I smiled…

And most of all, the wave of relief & openness that overcame my memories in that moment when my therapist asked me on Saturday:

“What do you feel when you’re out as [Ren]?”

One word for it all: Happy.

An emotion I seemingly rarely experience in my every day life. Even while writing this, one would describe my expression as intensely focused, apathetic, or stoic. Something I catch glimpses of and when it’s gone, I don’t remember. When I was with my former girlfriend, I recall waking up happy almost every day. Now, I just simply do what needs to be done and seek happiness in accomplishments to further my career.

My survival.

My brother gave me a taste of what the world will be like towards me in the event I do transition. I have already known being ostracized as that is the kind of house I live in. When I express myself the way I want…when I reflect my innermost self outwardly to the world, I feel real. The question is how far can I go to be real to myself always.

I am not the freak for wanting to be honest with myself and the world. The freaks are the ones who deem me inhuman, ripe for ripping into, for yet another fucking struggle I did not ask for no matter how much I’ve fought against it.

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4 thoughts on “easy target

  1. Wow. Didn’t see this entry. Okay, I see.

    Family relationships are intensely awkward, tense, caustic, unless you’re run of the mill digestible. And to family, I wonder if you’re ever? I had intense difficulty with my brothers when I was younger because I was very introverted and a late bloomer who kept having crushes on their friends. Big Faux pas. Then in college, when I had my first full blown attraction (a white guy) my family had the equivalent of an intervention with me (regarding someone I was in love with and very close with). Now it’s other stuff. The drama starts becoming wall paper, but doesn’t ever completely disappear for some. I’m glad you have friends who love and accept you, with whom you can express yourself and feel happy around. Otherwise this life is struggle to struggle.

    But one thing, part of your brother’s reaction is probably lack of education around this as well. When he learns about your path (one day), this will probably go alot smoother. That and when he matures a bit?

    All in all, glad you get some happy moments…

    1. Yah, families do have their share of issues. It’s rarely surprising how things come out when something out of the ordinary takes place. It’s a blessing for people like us to be surrounded by friends who take the time to listen and understand the things that make us unlike the ordinary rather than judge. I hope you have friends like that as well, as I’ve seen similar instances (a few times with me also) where race is an issue in regards to romance.

      As for my brother, he may understand it at some point. However, I believe the immediate family member that will be accepting right off the bat is my sister. Her and I have always gotten on well.

      Thank you for sharing a bit of your history, T. I try to hang onto what few happy moments I have, and I doubt I am alone on that.

      1. No you’re not. I hang on to happy moments too… I do have a few really good friends who make this ride less bumpy. It’s the biggest blessing I have.

        And you’re right, ability to understand and not judge is huge. Alot of people judge, especially when they possess a different life and think yours should look more like theirs.

        That’s great you have a sister who will be accepting, having some family who can be supportive is a gift. Yeah, the race thing in romance is it’s own can of worms haha. That was a tense period.

        Well, I hope you’re having a good weekend luv.

  2. Certainly not a guarantee that my sister would be understanding, but I feel like she would be the least apprehensive; she’s seen a lot in her life I’m sure.

    And thank you, hun. My weekend has turned around into something I hope will become the norm. May you have a fine weekend also. : )

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