As my transition ticks along smoothly, I find myself more and more drawn to thinking about topics for this blog that are not strictly transition related. I’m beginning to think of this period not just as my transition, but as the time when I become the person I’ll be for the rest of my life.
A quarter century old is a little late to come of age, but that seems to be what’s happening. I feel like the time between graduating from UCSC and now is just a void, lost time. That’s not true, of course. I’ve had three jobs, started transition, earned most of a Master’s degree, lost more than 20,000 dollars to a haze of despair, depression, and bad decisions. And I’ve nearly killed myself four times. Yet I’m only now waking up. I feel old and young at the same time. Old because I’m tired. Old because I’ve lost that sense of boundless future where everything’s possible. Young because of how ignorant I realize I will always be. Young, because I’m insecure, weak, and despite it all, still untested. I know now why people are willing to settle for mediocrity. Why they’d be desperate for it, really.
I’ve still got some growing up to do. Before I get too old.
It’s an incredibly bleak time to become an adult, and I feel like I’m starting even later than the rest of my famously tardy cohort. The kids who come behind me have an advantage: they saw me and my friends get the shit kicked out of us, so they’re coming into the game with their eyes open. Me? I have a Lit degree. Almost a half decade into my working life and I’m getting paid less than 22 grand a year. I have no idea how that stacks up (inflation adjusted) with how my parents did, but it’s the best money I’ve ever had and it’s about as much money as I expect to be paid for the foreseeable future. Forget saving up to buy a house. I’m saving up to buy shoes.
Gothe said, “Life’s dangers are infinite, and among them is safety.” Christ, what an asshole. For the first time in almost a year, I am safe and in that safety, I’ve had enough time to glance down and see how badly I’ve been broken this whole time. Part of me liked it better when I was too busy surviving to pay attention to how fucked up I am. I could pretend that I was making progress, that I was toughening up. That someday I’d come out of it as a stronger person, just by surviving long enough. But now, I’ve got a job, a place to stay, and a new circle of friends I see every week and there’s no hiding from it anymore.
I still hate myself.
I think that it is inevitable that this blog will eventually come to be as much about my struggles with my depression and self-loathing as it is with my gender. It might stigmatize my future employment prospects, but fuck it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year is that next year happens next year, and rent is due in a week. I have to talk about this, if only to be honest about what transitioning is. You can’t divorce trans issues from the rest of it. To dig deep enough to resolve gender stuff in any kind of a satisfactory level demands that you also dig up everything else, too. Otherwise you’re just patching over the difficult parts with convenient lies, and if you start doing that, then what the fuck’s the point of transitioning?
So I guess what I mean to say is, that stuff I mentioned earlier, about making sure this blog to won’t be a blighted wasteland?
Total fucking lie. It gets worse from here.