(Now I can speak. I've processed and thought this out over and over again and when I'd finished, I said what I had to say to certain people and then I processed some more. When I was done with that I started writing this letter to my dad, Aleksandr, because he understands. He fights this fight with me. He understands me being triggered and when it's all said and done, he's the one that my mind and heart instantly turns to when I am seeking answers, reassurance and strength.)
I thought that the day I came out was the hardest day of my life. My palms were sweaty, my heart was pounding in my chest and I couldn't breathe. I was glad when the words were finally out. I had spoken my truth, embraced it with both of my sweaty hands and I foolishly thought that the worse was over. I wasn't a young transgender boy coming out, not only as transgender, but gay as well, in high school. I wasn't even coming out in college. I'm an adult, thought I don't always act my age, I am an adult, bullies were a thing of my past...or so I thought.
I wasn't ready for the new kind of bullying. The kind that adults do. When they hug you and stab you in the back at the same time, pushing the knife deeper. The type of bullying where they say they support you, but then qualify their statement to exclude you, with an army of supporters behind them. I wasn't ready for the "well-meaning" bullies who tell you that you just have body image issues. I wasn't ready for the bullies who tell you to "get over it already" or tell you that you're just being "overly sensitive."
Why didn't anyone tell me Dad?
Why didn't they warn me that every day I'd be faced with someone calling me the wrong gender? Someone telling me that I was too pretty to transition? Someone telling me that I'm going to hell? Someone telling me that I don't exist?
Why wasn't I prepared for the moments, everyday, when my mind says that the pain is too hard, the bullying and the phobia too much, and I should just give up? Why wasn't I prepared for the blogs, the tweets, the articles, the pictures that would so disparage me that i would feel compelled to stop transitioning, stop trying to live my truth, stop trying to live at all?
I know they do It Gets Better videos for gay teens, but what about the transgender ones? Can they even do one for them? Does it ever get better? How can it when those in our own community, the GLBTQ community, disses us, trashes us and insults us, almost daily?
How can it get better when I get told, daily, that I'm not a real man because my cock isn't physically attached? How can it get better when daily I get emails calling me a freak and telling me to go away? How can it get better when those who bully me, and their supporters, get more comfort, support, and encouragement than I do?
What else do I have to do to be accepted? Changing my name, my clothes, getting T-shots, getting reassignment surgery...it doesn't seem like it will ever be enough. Do they want me to continue to live a lie? Am I supposed to ignore the truth inside of me because it makes them uncomfortable? Because they don't understand? I try to teach them, I try to explain, but I get told that I'm wrong. I get told that I'm just supposed to accept it. I get told that I should just stop trying to fight, because it will never be enough.
But Dad, you're my hero, one of the smartest men I know, so maybe you can help me understand.
When do I finally become a man?
Vicktor Aleksandr B