I put up a good game when it comes to representing trans women and the atheist community. I answer all the questions I can as respectfully as I'm asked, I try to be out to as many people as I can to disprove stereotypes, and I work hard on writing this blog so I can share my perspective with others. But some days are harder than others.
This week I've been in a slump because of surgery, specifically my lack of it. It's hard to wake up every day and have to deal with this thing during my morning routine. Typically I just wear my panties in the shower so I don't have to look at or touch it. That may seem extreme, but I'd rather not start my day off depressed. It's those few brief moments when I have to change or use the restroom that I get the most down and realize that for all my effort I'm no closer to affording surgery now than I was 4 years ago.
Ten thousand dollars doesn't seem like too much. About the price of a good used car or a few semesters at a university, but trying to come up with that kind of money as a full-time student and part-time worker is damn near impossible. Practically all my finances go toward living and whatever I do save generally gets used by some kind of emergency eventually. I've learned not to set dates because whenever they sail right past me I get absolutely depressed and start to wonder if things are ever going to work out.
I don't mean to make this a pity party, but for those who aren't trans it's a strange kind of feeling to express through words. Imagine you have a serious physical deformity but nobody notices it. To the outside world, you're just like everyone else, and even you forget about it through most of your day, but you know if you or anyone else examines too closely the illusion bursts and revulsion and disgust quickly follow. I feel like everything else in my life is going well. I've had a wonderful boyfriend for almost 3 years, I start a new job next week with better pay that isn't retail, I'm getting straight As in my classes, my educational and occupational future looks very bright, this blog has become increasingly popular, and I've become established as an atheist speaker in the region because of it. I try to remind myself of all these wonderful things whenever I beat myself up, but it doesn't change the fact that part of me is still broken.
I struggle with my weight occasionally and other body issues, but for the majority of the time I like the majority of my body. It's mine, I've fought my ass off to make it the way it is, and we've been through heaven and hell together. I just wish I could fix this one damn birth defect so I could escape from the shame I otherwise don't feel about my body. It feels like finishing a giant puzzle and missing one piece. It's going to drive you crazy and with that last piece it's never complete. You can't glue and frame a puzzle that's missing a piece. It's not fit for display. That's what being a pre-op trans woman feels like.
Sorry I'm not my usual fired-up, humorous activist self today, but like I said, some days are harder than others. I'll try to come back at you next week with something more light-hearted and inspiring if possible.