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Monday, June 29, 2015

"Why are you so obsessed about being trans?"

I've had people ask me all the time why I put so much into my being trans. Why do you talk about it so much? Why do we need to know about your genitals? And on one hand, I totally understand why you might ask that. So, allow me to explain exactly why it's so important to me, and it starts with one key principle.

The whole world won't let me forget

I am not just trans because I identify as that, society has forced me into that category.
Because tampon commercials have to remind me that periods are specifically a "female problem" that I'll never have and many trans men do
Because I am the butt of hundreds of "jokes" in popular media everywhere
Because the guy in women's clothes is a joke and a trope
Because there are people trying to criminalize me peeing in the right bathroom
Because I am afraid when I go to pee in public
Because I get told to kill myself every week
Because I have family still calling me "he"
Because I lost friends just for being myself
Because people need to clarify that they mean a "real" woman as though I'm apparently fake
Because I've heard people snicker and talk and seen them look when I go by
Because I'm not even allowed to change my birth certificate without changing my genitals first
Because I have to worry what people will think when they ask for an ID and see "M" and look at me
Because my mail and my paychecks and legal documents still dead name me

Because even supportive people force me to remember
Because friends have to make a show of being supportive or accepting my gender. "Hey, ladies." You don't get brownie points for acknowledging my identity
Because as much as I and my friends don't want it to happen, friends will still accidentally say "he"
Because I get a "knowing look" whenever something about gender comes up
Because I hear "when you were a boy" as if I ever was one

Because family can't get past it
Because one sibling just has to mention that I was "born this way for a reason"
Because another unfollowed me on facebook because I'm unashamed of what I believe
Because if I try to bring up transition related things I get told "I don't want to talk about it"
Because I'll be told "Well you'll always be *deadname* to me"
Because in terms of not only my identity, but my beliefs, I am in the extreme minority of my family
Because, no offense to my parents who I know wanted the best for me, but regardless of intentions, my upbringing has prevented me from ever having  a normal life

Because even my own history will never let me forget
Because every pictures for the first 21 years of my life looks like a boy
Because all of my school memorabilia has my dead name
Because old church and school acquaintances will surely be whispering "So did you hear about the Birner kid?"

I will always be reminded of it
I will always be classified into my own category
And while I may hate that I have to face it every day
I will never be ashamed of it

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