Being Trans in a Fascist Wave

The last few days have been more stressful than can really be accounted for. But, I am seeing them pass anti-transgender legislation, bathroom bills, and I’m honestly afraid of what comes after that. What escalation can happen at that point?

And I was realizing that I’m in a weird position. I’m able to pass as a cis-man if I want, my usual wardrobe isn’t very gendered so they don’t provide signals. But then I’m invisible and yet still liable to fall afoul of persecution. I don’t want to be invisible but opting into open persecution feels insane.

We live in insane times, so a little insanity seems apropos, and I’m starting to get tired of not correcting people. I’m tired of living like I’ve already lost this fight, and I’m tired of not feeling serious about my transition. I’m tired of accepting glares from people who believe that Jewish space lasers exist(and somehow also think this is a terrible thing rather than yet another confusing development in geopolitics). I’m tired of getting run off the road for having a trans license plate holder without even feeling like I’m allowed to be all of me.

And I know that if I stay quiet, should persecution come to pass, all my “sins” will still be brought against me, and I will have lived a cowed life for nothing but ephemeral convenience, never getting the respect or dignity I know that I deserve as a human being. And I can’t help but think that when I come face to face with Omega in such a case, I will feel regret for not having asserted the life that I wanted.

Not the life that I wanted, the life that I got after realizing that I was just making excuses for not living the life I wanted, for not changing my body when I was younger, for not doing any voice training at all, for not adjusting my wardrobe, for living in fear of what a bunch of mean, unhappy people believe. If I let them control my behavior then I have already lost.

I can’t live my life to appease people who are hostile to my life and my identity. So that that leaves me violence, and I don’t like violence. Violence is the chance for trouble, for life ruining trouble. Violence against people is the logic of the guillotine and, besides the obvious legal ramifications, I don’t believe in contributing to that kind of a world. Violence against the systems that empower people who want to destroy me is all I can try, but such things are also risky, protests are sometimes just shot up these days, other kinds of protests run other kinds of risks.

But before I must deal with all that, I must reconsider myself here and figure out the first form of protest, non-conformance. And for that I have to figure out how I want to present my identity, and my identity will be a small stake in this set of protests, but it will be my ever-present effort. My exertion of self is the exertion of protesting the invisible social systems.

If I am not out, there will be people like I was, who never thought that options like transitioning were even possible, let alone worthwhile, and I know what it’s like to wake up when you’re 26 and realize that you’ve pushed off something you’ve wanted to do explicitly since you were 14(this may just be me, not every trans person feels like that and you shouldn’t feel bad if you didn’t ‘always know’). That all those goals you wanted to achieve before risking everything to be who you want to be would have gone better if you had just done this one thing.

It sucks to realize that if you had simply been braver, the world would be a better place for you. That you would be a better place for you.

Bravery is contagious because there is safety in numbers, but it cannot make us safe when we don’t assert our safety and achieve justice.






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