Gender Appeal Party

A Transgender Boy In The Modern World


Image Courtesy Of Udimagine.

Dusk Johnson, Assistant Editor, Designer, Writer

I wish I’d known all those years before. Known the cage of identity I was going to be trapped in for the rest of my life. It pushed down on my mental health like a hydraulic press. Boys stand here, girls stand there… gods forbid you be anywhere in between. To be a man you must be born a man, to deny this is a crime, and I who go against it, am the criminal. That is the simple understanding that the world around me has taught. To children, to adults, no matter who you are you must stay in character constantly, fulfill your role as a big strong athletic boy, or a gentle, beautiful girl. But I… just couldn’t.
As a child I didn’t know gender, I knew I liked toys and cartoons, never really thinking which sex they were aimed for, what would the purpose of that be? I lived regardless of gender, much as I do now. It wasn’t until I grew into my body, my cursed little vehicle that my soul was forced to drive, that I knew I wasn’t “normal”. It wasn’t that I didn’t like “girly” things, or wanted to be different, it was the feeling of disembodiment. I was somewhere I wasn’t meant to be, forever trapped by a weight of unwanted flesh and identity. I was lost, crushed, and powerless to the pressure of it all. How does one escape when the thing trapping them is their own body? Back then, back in my time of early youthful naivete, I had that answer, dark and looming. That answer I rather not mention, I rather not think of at all.
It was within those same months that I bound my chest in bandages, dressing what was unwanted as a wound, and creating scars in doing so…sweat and infection of said bandages were never my worry. Any pain I would face would be better than seeing myself in a mirror, or being seen as a young woman. The very words “she” and “her” would tear my heart in half, pain pierced through me like wooden stakes in the dirt. Any one feminine gesture might set it off, the way I walk, speak, and dress. I had to be conscious, more anxious of my every microscopic move to avoid the painful assumptions of the public. As such I rejected things I loved: cutesy toys, bright colors, fashion, even art. If anyone thought it was meant for a young girl, I threw it away as if it never meant anything to me. Everyone had pushed me into pink and blue vision. To fit with my gender identity, I was forced to give up the rest of my identity… and that is one of my biggest regrets.
I would force myself into “boyish” clothes and interests, big baggy dark garments and a quiet, stern attitude. I had even convinced myself I was attracted to women for the sake of masculine presentation. (What a laugh that is to those who know me now). I never spoke unprompted, my own voice angered and annoyed me like a hidden mouse squeaking through a house. If anyone heard it, I was sure they would think poorly of me. And so I remained quiet for years. Despite my attempts, I found that at the end of the day, when I was alone, no one there but me and my thoughts, I was suffering more than ever. Bitter tears had clouded my vision to who I was, who I wanted to be. Nothing aligned properly, again I found myself lost, out of control, and ready to give up for good. Not even knowing who I was- I didn’t want to be me anymore.
To anyone who may be going through this right now, I write this piece for you. No one should have to experience the pain expressed here alone, know now with this message that you aren’t alone. No matter what society may teach us of “normality,” never ever lose yourself.