In a few days I'll pass the one year mark of being on hormones. I've mentioned this to people over the past few weeks and I've gotten various responses. I've been asked how I plan to celebrate and told that it's a huge milestone that I should be proud of. People have commented that I'm noticeably happier, that I'm attractive, pretty, sexy.
They don't understand.
A friend moved to DC a couple of weeks ago: "My neighborhood is something like 26% gay so it's a lively welcoming place. You should come visit!" And suddenly I'm just the trans person, reduced to a single aspect of my personality.
My ex recently told me that "if you had actually come out to me in a way that was recognizable I would have been there for you." A brief conversation--the first in years--reminded me why I stopped talking to her. Five years ago I had told her that I was scared and confused and didn't know if I was trans or not. She replied that there was no point discussing it if I wasn't sure. "Just accept yourself," she said, dismissing me with a cliche and washing her hands of any responsibility. Like telling a suicidal person to 'cheer up' and then shrugging your shoulders indifferently when they kill themselves: 'I did what I could'.
As I curl up in my boyfriend's arms, I wonder if my life truly is better than it was a year ago. Am I happier? More comfortable with my life, with my place in the world? Or is it just the fading memory of pain that makes the past seem preferable? I don't know. My life is different in impossible ways and yet, in the end, I still wonder if it was the right choice. Because I'm very tired of being trans. Tired of constantly having to justify my existence to others and to myself. Tired of empty words of support, given without thought and without true intent. Tired of forgiving unintentionally hurtful words, tired of wanting to slash my face whenever I see my reflection. Tired of being me.