Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm Not a Backup Singer

Tonight we went to a service for Transgender Day of Remembrance and I must admit I was all for it until we walked into the building.  I was surrounded by transmen, transwomen, transpeople and all I could think was "If someone wanted to take out a bunch of trans* people, this would be the best time to do it."

I'm not usually so morbid or so pessimistic, but that has been my headspace for the last few days.  I have been struggling, not so much with my gender identity or my sexuality but just with myself, in general.  You see, I have a hard time seeing what other people see.  When someone tells me how gorgeous I am, how sweet I am, how sexy, I smile and say thank you but I don't see it.  When someone says that they enjoy me, I don't see it.

When someone says that they want to adopt me, I believe them for like...a day, but I'm always waiting for the novelty to wear off, for the other shoe to drop, for them to realize that they made a huge, fucking mistake.

Because you know, my biological family, people who are supposed to be predisposed to love and care about me, to support me, to want me, tossed me aside because I didn't conform to their ideals and morals and doesn't that mean that there's something wrong with me?  

If people who are supposed to be supporting me then turn around and attack me and others like me, doesn't that mean that there's something wrong with me?  With us?  That we're wrong?

I sat there listening to all of these statistics and hearing that as a "transman of color" I am more likely to be attacked or killed and I'll be honest, I got scared and started wondering if it was worth it.  I get this nervous twitch when I'm about to bolt, my leg starts to bounce, my eyes dart around the room (because I'm looking for an escape) and I start scratching the hell out of an arm or hand.  I was about to make the world's quickest getaway, without my cane, without my shit...without my adopted Big Sister and The Nieceling who had both come with me.  I was going to get the hell out of there because I felt too exposed, too fucking raw, too fucking emotional.  I was wrong, everyone else was right, the biologicals, the hateful people, they were all right about me, I needed to go, I needed to get out.  I could feel my heart speeding up, I could feel Cherie's eyes on me, I could tell that she knew I was about to bolt, but I didn't care.  I felt like I was about to have a heart attack.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to rage against God, against Allah, against the fucking elements and against my fucking biological parents for ever having sex and making me.  It was their fault!  I'm a screwed up mess, fucked, damned beyond all belief because of them.  I felt, in that moment, that I had signed my death warrant the day that I admitted that I was a black transgender male homosexual.  I was dead, I was toast, my birth mother was right, I was going to be torn apart and ripped to shreds because I'm a fucking mistake.  I started to think about, to consider, going back and being "Vee" again.  I could stop being Vicktor and go back to being Veronica.  I could do it.  I could.  I could push the real me aside, my true feelings and emotions, who I truly am on the inside, and be the woman that the world saw.  A woman who had a man inside of her desperately screaming and clawing to get out, fighting to breathe, fighting to stay alive.

I could go back to being a woman and slice my wrists within 24 hours.

Because sitting there I knew that if I did that, if I went back to living a lie, to denying my truth to please other people, out of fear of being attacked or being killed...I knew that if I turned my back on all the strides I'd made, I'd kill myself.  It's humbling, it's frightening to know that about yourself.  And then one of the people there, the musician, Lydia (a transwoman) said: "We cannot be backup singers in our own lives."  It was amazing and powerful and just what I needed to hear.

I've been struggling with not being too annoying to people (it's why I haven't blogged in a while, why I don't comment as much anymore, why I don't tweet as much as I used to...why I'm so godsdamn afraid to talk to my adopted father or my adopted big brother or some of my adopted big sisters) because I didn't want to lose the only people that are supporting me and lose this family that I have now, and so I've been not really talking too much and not really getting involved or commenting as much.  Because that's a very real fear of mine, that one morning all of you will wake up and realize that I'm just not worth it.  But tonight as I sat there in this memorial service hearing about the number of people who are killed just for being themselves, the people who had the courage to live their truths, I realized that even if I drive all of you away (*biting lower lip*) because I need a little more reassurance right now, because I need the emails and the phone calls and the hugs and the public acknowledgments and the comments and even the tweets and the mentions in a group or on Facebook, to let me know that I'm not an abomination or a mistake or something to be ashamed of, I had to have the guts and the courage to stand up and live my life, to live my truth, regardless.  You know?

Because I am NOT a backup singer in my own life.  I refuse to be.  And if that makes me a target, then bring it on, because you know what?  I got the title of expert marksman in the Army and they don't call me "The Dom" for nothing, I am a force to be reckoned with, once I realize what I want to stand for and I've decided, finally, to stand for myself.  It's time for me, for Vicktor, to stand up and be heard and let people know that:

NO I am NOT an abomination!  NO I am NOT a mistake!  NO I have not gotten it wrong!  YES, I am here!  YES, I DO exist!  And NO.  NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, I AM NOT GOING TO GO AWAY!

Don't like it?  Well too damn bad for you.

-Vicktor A. Bailey


  1. I'm sorry that your moments of doubt are so visceral and so deep. I hope that the moments of certainty continue to outweigh them. I know that eventually you will come to trust the family you have made for yourself, and I truly hope that they will repay that trust in kind. I wish you all the best. You ARE strong.

  2. Thank you Kaje. I appreciate it. I really do.

  3. Keep singing, you make a great soloist!

    (who wanted to write more but is currently running late for work)

  4. I think that's a beautiful lesson for all of us! No one should be a backup singer in their own life!

  5. Hey Vic, you're my little brother and I love you. You're strong and you're a great guy. There is nothing you can do that will make me throw you away and not love you. Nothing! You were always there for me, you put up with all my craziness, you just accept that my mind is different from others, you support and love so unconditionally and I love you for that and for you being you. I am sorry that your moments of distress are so hurtful for you but I hope that you will have many, many moments of joy, hope and love for you to fall back on.
    I love you, baby bro, that will never change *hugs* (and I wish that we were on the same continent so I could hug you for real...)

  6. ~Hugs you tightly and whispers~ Big Brother...I love you! It's not going to change and you know what...You can fall back on me and you'll never have to worry about falling. ~Hugs again and kisses your temple lightly~ You are an amazing big brother...You are an amazing man period. TransMAN but man all the same.

  7. You're passionate, you're courageous, you're a fighter, you're loyal, you're protective, you're incredibly intelligent, you're funny, you're amazing, you're so much more...but most of all you are you, a beautiful lovable hunka man. I hope one day those things will be as visible to you as they are to everyone who sees you as you truly are.
    Have a wonderful holiday with your new family. And remember you deserve them, you deserve to be happy!
    Big squishy turkey hugs coming your way...*giggle*


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