CC image courtesy of Flickr, torbakhopper.
“When I’m big I want to be a boy like you.”
My four year old self thought I was giving my cousin a complement. However he saw otherwise; I was beaten, called “faggot”, then pushed down the stairs. That complete rejection from a family member was enough to scare me into submission for the rest of my childhood.
I grew up in a conservative homeschool family. At a very young age I showed signs of being transgender I always wanted my hair cut “like a boy.” Only played male characters during play dates, and hated being called a girl. Any effort to be myself was squashed under strict southern baptist doctrine. Thus I did my best to ignore my growing dysphoria so I could fit in with my peers.
After I graduated high school. I slowly came out to friends with very mixed reactions. I felt that I had to prove myself to them so I made the horrible mistake of coming out to my parents. My mom cried while my dad exploded in anger kicking in my door and telling me “You are as bad as a child rapist!” I was forced into conversion therapy and shoved back into the closet where I spend two more years.
Last month everything came crashing down.
I drove my dad to the store then without warning he started screaming at me demanding to know why I was “Giving God the middle finger” I was shocked by his sudden aggression. He told me that he wouldn’t allow me to corrupt my siblings by being a “cross dresser” I locked myself in the family bathroom for safety. While he pounded on the door and threatened to drag me into the parking lot. In a panic I texted my coworker who came to my rescue. Her mom got security to keep my dad away while we walked to their car. He threatened her the entire walk but she refused to back down. As we drove away she told me “We will not let you be homeless.”
When I got to their house I was group hugged and given hot chocolate. The rest of the week was a blur of crying, having the police help me get my things from my parents home, saying goodbye to my younger siblings, quitting my jobs, and adjusting to a totally new environment.
Lucky for me the family I’m staying with have been very patent while I adjust to not being abused.
My progress is slow but steady. I’m saving for top surgery, finding a new job, and I no longer jump every time a car goes by. They have all proven to me the support that they have from buying me my first suit, to helping my save for top surgery. They have given me the confidence to see that my dad can call me horrible names, he can tell my siblings and other church members that I’m a horrible person. But he no longer owns me. I’m no longer going to cower in fear while my life goes by without me.
I am loved, I am important, and have everything I need to be ten times the man he ever will be.