It's 03:40. I woke up because my dumbass laptop started playing videos and I don't really understand why.
But what I actually thought was noteworthy was the fact that, as I slowly clawed my way out of sleep, I remember some dim impression of another girl – cute, fascinating, sassy, I dunno what all else. She was interesting and compelling in that undefinable way that imaginary people you conjure while semi-conscious tend to be. And I remember waking with a smile and the thought, "I am so damn gay for her."
Apparently it isn't uncommon for gender fluid people to feel like they lack certainty about their gender. Well, OK, no fucking shit I guess. I mean... it's one thing to shift around and feel different over time, but it seems like a common question to wonder if we're "supposed" to settle into a specific identity. Like, sure, maybe I have some changes now, but if I have a streak of several boy days in a row, does that mean I'm just stuck there? Or that I should be stuck there? Maybe it means I'm not girling hard enough, whatever the fuck that means? If I really wish I was a girl all the time, does that mean I'm supposed to be a trans woman and not gender fluid?
Where is the line between gender fluidity and "locked in" trans identity that isn't quite stable or "committed" enough? Some people seem to feel like this is an issue because they aren't as sure as they feel like they need to be. I feel like this is an issue because I secretly hope that the fluidity can be hatchet-murdered and left to rot in a fucking swamp. If there's a way to just girl and nothing else, I want that shit.
I struggle, at times like this, to feel like it's OK for me to need shit. I've written a lot recently about how much I feel an intense need to be loved and accepted and cared for. And then I read over the early entries in this and feel like I've lost sight of the selfless, generous woman who was so wildly passionate about loving other people. She's still... somewhere, I guess. But she's not front and center right now, and that somehow makes me feel guilty and wrong.
Which is a tragically fucked up thing, honestly. Nothing is that simple. I should be at peace with the fact that I can need things and still be loving and caring. I am still the woman who is moved to tears by the idea of her words consoling someone else and setting them free to be who they are meant to be. I am still a good person – kind, providing, maybe wise and supportive, I don't fucking know. There is nothing wrong with me also needing to feel loved.
I am the woman who decided to amass this journal of whatever-the-fuck-it-is because she wanted desperately for it to help someone, anyone. Ever. And I am the woman who weeps for her lost childhood, for the years of violence and neglect and disgust and for the unending bitter ache of wondering if anyone will ever fucking care. And the fact that I need to tend to that pain does not, in any possible way, detract from who I am, or the beautiful soul in me that just wants to salve that hurt for anyone else she can reach.
In a way, really, the time I've spent with that hurt is integral to my ability to touch someone else who is in that kind of pain. Struggling with the shit I have to carry does not make me self-obsessed, or narcissistic, or arrogant, or anything of the kind. The struggle makes me capable of turning around and providing the love and compassion and support that I so desperately want everyone else to have.
Put on your own oxygen mask first. You can't save anyone if you're dead.
God... I can fucking see her, almost, just clearly enough to know that she is me and that she is fucking incredible, but not quite in enough detail to really portray properly. I couldn't describe her hair, her smile, her little ephemeral but exquisitely feminine mannerisms; I couldn't put into words why she is so alluring, so inescapably powerful, so gorgeous and captivating and impossible not to fall madly in love with; I couldn't say what, exactly, makes her so her. But she's there all the same, flitting in and out of the periphery of my mind, enticing me to keep fighting and moving forward. Keep pushing towards the future. Her future.
I dream of the day when she is all anyone sees when they look at me. I imagine tossing that cascade of hair, flashing that devilishly cute smile, soaking up the knowledge that everyone else is as certain as I am that she is me, and that's it. I get tingles up my spine just picturing silly pointless moments that really don't have any specific notion behind them, aside from me existing as I always should have.
I remember the day I found my name. It was a total accident. In the middle of some random unimportant thought, I suddenly found myself looking for a way to address myself in my head. I had already begun distancing myself from my assigned name and variants, but I had no idea what else to say. In that split-second of panic I just trusted something and let myself fall backwards.
And almost effortlessly, there it was, like I had known all along and was just waiting for the chance to do something about it. I wasn't sure for a while – maybe it was just a random brain short-circuit or whatever. Give it time, see how it feels in a few days, etc.
I didn't need a few days. I was trying it on, here and there, just to see if it would stick, when it happened – and I knew for sure. I think I described the moment elsewhere as just imagining someone saying my name – just to get my attention, or a semi-unexpected greeting in a store, or whatever – and they say it like it could never occur to them that my name could possibly be anything else.
I want that day. I want the world to look at me and simply know, with all the certainty that I do, who I am. That nobody else could be there – who else would it even be? I mean, shit, have you met her?
I want everything else to just evaporate into irrelevance and obscurity. I want to completely, totally, and unquestionably exist, in physical reality just as certainly as I do in my mind now.
I want to be fucking around in some stupid grocery store or something, and hear that call-out, with that conviction that's as deep as everyone's confidence in fucking gravity. I want to be seen, and I want them to know who I am so fundamentally that it isn't even a conscious observation. I want them to say my name like it could never occur to them that it could possibly be anything else.
I got chills the day I learned my name. And I still do.