There are many things that I cannot get my head around. Some of these are how my mind is working now. I am sitting in a coffee shop in a suburb of Minneapolis and listing to Any DiFranco, dressed in a frilly top and cute black lacy maxi skirt and I have never felt more me and still like a tourist in this body all at once. The reason that I chose this music is because of some pretentious thought that it is artsy and rough enough for me to be a “real writer” and the sad/funny/stupid thing about it is that I actually believe that shit. I find it funny the things we do to make ourselves feel valid.
Validity has been at the forefront of my mind for a while now for many reasons. This is one of those things that always seem to come into the conciseness of every person that is struggling with their identity. As a trans woman I kindly and fully fit into this group of people. For many of those who maybe reading this will not know what I am talking about. This is because you who fit into that camp have found that the places that their lives and circumstances have placed themselves in fits. I want to tell you folks that I am not going to slam or shame you for this fact. I will be honest and say that I am often envious of you all. What I am going to do though is try to give you a glimpse of what is like on the other side of the looking glass that they world calls life.
I have a family that is supportive and loving. I have friends that are supportive and loving. I am lucky. I am privileged and I own that fact. I feel that I need to get that addressed from the onset. I know many of my siblings in the alphabet who do not have that and I am going to attempt to check that privilege as much as I can, as often as I can. I am very lucky. This fact though does not invalidate my feelings or experience. See there is that word again, validity, so into it.
Many will ask people in my place “What is it that you see when you look into the mirror?” I think this question is not the right question to be asking. If you ask me that I will tell you that I see someone who is not where she needs to be. I will tell you that I still see parts of the gender that I attempted to be for almost 40 years. I will tell you that I see more that is wrong then that is right. I will tell you that I see something, not someone, who is more broken then whole. What I will not tell you is that I see me. The better question it ask is, “Who do you see when you close your eyes?” I asked this exact question to a very strong and brave young person what is very close to me that has been struggling with their gender and how they fit into their world. The reason I like this question so much more is because it give me at much better idea how the person I am talking to not only wants to see themselves but also how they want to be seen. This shows me what their goals and where their shortcomings are as well. The funny thing is that they may not even know that they are telling me these things.
For me when I close my eyes I see a mother. I see a strong woman who is willing to do whatever is needed to see that the people she loves are provided for. I see a woman who is broken but is doing her fuck all best to hold it together and not be a burden. I see not the ‘me’ I am but the me I could be. The ‘me’ I will be. I see a woman who will never know the joy and fear and pain and the love of having a child of her own. I see a woman who is stuck in a place that she does not know how to move forward from and at the same time does not know if she wants to. Most of all I see a woman. I see me as I truly am. It is this reason that I am not a fan of the mirror question. I see almost none of that in the mirror. So what keeps me looking in the mirror everyday? It is because every so often I catch a glimpse of that woman I see in my mind looking back at me. She smiles back at me whispering, “Keep going, you are getting closer. I am here and can’t wait to meet you in person.” So I do. She is an amazing woman that I can not wait to meet and each day I get that much closer.
So dear reader, let me ask you this to you. What do you see when you close your eyes?