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In Light of Trans Day of Remembrance

Updated: May 1

A picture of my mug from a week ago while I was wandering about in Seattle


I knew the exact moment that I became visibly trans, because at that very moment I felt afraid to be in the world in a new and profound way. After a 5 year hiatus in dating, a few months ago I decided to get back out there. I’ve mostly been going on dates with queer cis-men. My experiences have been nothing short of traumatic and include being asked to make disclosures about what my anatomy looks like (to include requests for pictures), being asked when I’m getting my breast back, being stood up, being ghosted, or being naked in front them and then having them bail. It’s brought to the surface paralyzing anxiety, a pain so deep that my body aches all over, and sometimes I fall asleep and wake up crying. And then there’s the terror that runs through my body in getting to know a new person all over again as I wait for the other shoe to drop. I don’t want to abandon the parts of myself that ask for intimacy, and yet in this climate, it feels hard not to. This year alone, over 300 trans people were murdered, many of them occurring in an intimate scenario like on a date or after sex.

I’m trying to take what I can in all of this and to learn from it. I’ve been holding the wound quietly, caring for it, trying to prevent it from leaking out onto other people. It’s hard to find a silver lining in oppression... because there isn’t one. It’s devastatingly heartbreaking. Perhaps the best we can do is to share our heartbreak with each other. To hold it in community and breathe with one another, reminding each other through our attuned presence that we’re seen, loved, and not alone.

We need allies more than ever which isn't simply knowing or even loving a trans person. Allyship is an active state of caring for us, making sure that we're not harmed, and holding space for the wound that arises from our oppression. It takes selflessness and courage to be that kind of shelter in the storm, and it's so very necessary for healing the deep psychic wound around gender that is embedded in our society.

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