Reply To: Transgender Literature- Her Story


<b>Her Story</b>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I first started asking my mother to call me Samantha at the age of 8. It was brushed off as confusion, “Your name is Sam. You are a boy and only girls are called Samantha”. She didn’t understand how each correction she made stung like a slap on a fresh wound that would never heal. She didn’t know that every time she wrote me off as “going through a phase,” a part of my identity would stir in confusion. Most importantly, she didn’t know that I was her daughter, just waiting to be acknowledged for who I truly am.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>My first love was a kid named Jeremy. He sat two rows ahead of me and one seat to the right. The angle was perfect for me to see him smile when his friends said something funny, leading me to never get any work done. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I first confessed my love to him one day at recess. It was by the picnic bench and 3 minutes before our next class was supposed to start. It was a precise timing; I wanted to tell him and then be able to run and hide from a safe distance. The safe distance being the space between his desk and mine. The fact that my plan had an escape route should have been the first sign to abort the mission. I completely ignored any conflicting thoughts running through my head as I continued towards him. My mind quickly ran over the worst-case scenario, and the only thing I could come up with was him saying no and me moving on with his funnier best friend, Mason.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>My heart was pounding so fast that I could barely hear the crunch of the gravel with every step I took. No thoughts ran through my head at this point, only a picture of him and me on our wedding day, him in a dark suit and me in a white dress. Yes, I am aware I was just thinking about moving on with his best friend, but what can I say? I am a hopeless romantic. As the daydream came to an end, we were finally face to face. He was looking at me as if I had been standing in front of him for hours without saying a word.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>“Will you be my boyfriend?” It came out much louder and more demanding than I was expecting. His face scrunched up immediately; I could only see only the blacks of his eyes. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>“It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, gay boy!” His words sent daggers through my heart, and I immediately looked around to make sure no one heard. With every word that came out of his mouth, it was like a drop of acid pooling and distorting the picture of us I had in my head. </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Gay? I am not gay. </span></i>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The sound of the final warning bell caused everyone to run toward the school doors, even him. I slowly followed the other students, not taking my eyes off Jeremy for a moment. On the way back into the classroom, there was a constant whisper going back and forth between him and his friends. </span>

<i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I am not gay</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>, was the only thought rushing through my head as I closed my eyes and hid my face down on my desk. This was the first time I’d purposely looked anywhere other than towards the direction of my beloved. I did not have to question his whereabouts due to the snickering coming from his side of the room.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>It seemed that the laughing would never come to an end, and the only thing I knew for sure was I needed to be out of this room. Without raising my hand or asking for permission, I bolted out of the classroom. I did not hear the teacher call for me, so she must have not noticed. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>As I walked down the hall, I went towards the bathroom. It was the only place where I wouldn’t be questioned about why I wasn’t in class. Once I reached my destination, I realized there was another hurdle coming my way. I stood between two doors, one labeled male and the other labeled female and all I could do was pause. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I whispered, “screw it,” as I grabbed the door to the right of me, marked with a girl icon, and went inside. At this moment, I broke down my walls and let me be me, let me be Samantha. The girl who had just gotten her heart broken, not “gay boy Sam.”  The moment I walked in and saw the cream-colored stalls wide open and no one inside I felt as if I could relax. I quickly locked myself in the first stall I walked past and sat down on the closed toilet seat. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>“You are allowed to feel. You are allowed to have a moment,” I whispered to myself as tears ran down my cheeks. I chanted these words over and over again until I finally let my mind drift away. If only I looked the way I feel, would things have gone differently? </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I reran through everything that had happened, only this time as Samantha. I would have walked up to him with my long hair blowing in the wind. My uniform would have been a khaki skirt instead of slacks. When I approached him he would be imagining me in my wedding dress as I imagined him in his suit. He would have greeted me by saying, “Hello Ms. Samantha, you are looking beautiful as always.”  I would have blushed and curtsied in response. Before I would be able to say a word he would have stopped me and grabbed my hand, “Would you be my girlfriend?” he would ask.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>“Of course,” I would exclaim with joy. He would march me right up to his friends with pride and tell them how lucky he was to have a girl like me. </span>

<b><i>A girl like me.</i></b><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> These words replayed on a neverending loop as my tears dried up and I was once again in the real world. I knew it would only be moments before a teacher would come looking for me, so I quickly composed myself as I opened the stall door. I took one loop around the bathroom and took everything in before I landed on the mirror standing parallel to me. It felt, once again, as if the world was crushing me as I looked into the mirror at </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>him</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. Sam, the boy that never matched the way I felt. Every step I took I felt farther away from her, me, Samantha, or whatever the hell anyone wanted to call it. Every step closer I lost myself.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Darkness was all I saw and felt as I blacked out. It was as if a black fog was consuming me, and I had to fight it off before it took me for good. Before I knew it the floor was covered in glass, and the mirror and Sam were once again gone. My knuckles were bleeding from the hit they just took, destroying the vision of what others see. Something in me felt free, but at the same time, I was still locked away. A loud gasp brought me back to reality. Standing behind me was my teacher, and I knew I was going to be in trouble. Bracing for the yelling, I held my breath, but nothing came.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>“Sam, are you okay?” She spoke in barely a whisper. I was expecting her first question to be, “why are you in the girl’s bathroom” but I guess the shattered glass and blood dripping over my hands took top priority. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I couldn’t respond as I focused on my breathing. How do I even begin to explain what actions have brought me here? She quickly whispered into the walkie on her hip for someone to get a first aid kit and leave it at the front of the bathroom door. After she received a response that it was on the way, she slowly started to make her way towards me. It felt as if we had been standing together for hours when in reality it had only been about 60 seconds. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>As I let the tears roll down my cheeks she finally spoke again, “Would you like it if I called you Samantha?” this was the first time I made eye contact with her since she entered the bathroom. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>All the teachers were aware of what my mom called a </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>mental condition</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. She was sure to bring it up and let everyone know it is not acceptable. If I were to request to be called Samantha it needed to be shut down immediately. If this rule wasn’t followed they would be hearing from her, and it wouldn’t be pretty. She was afraid of anyone encouraging it.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>A bunch of sounds ran out of my mouth before any actual words would formulate. “Please,” was all that I could muster. I wanted to scream </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>thank you</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> and wrap her in a hug in the hope that she would never let go. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I quickly analyzed myself for any glass as I moved over to a clean sink. I washed away the blood and patted it dry. I heard the door open, and I knew she was grabbing the first aid kit left outside. I didn’t know if I would be able to look at her out of embarrassment, so I made sure all my concentration was on my hands. I counted every cut, found every bruise, and picked at every hangnail. Soon I felt her cool hands on mine fixing all of the damage I had caused. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>“You have the right to be who you want to be, Samantha,” I didn’t respond, causing her to continue, “There is support right here in this school, and I know the local high schools have it too. They have LGBTQ+ meetings, counselors, and other mental health tools. They can also help you find any of the support you may need outside of school. I know it is a big step, but just know I am here to support you in any way that you need.” I could feel the urgency in every word, and I knew that she meant it. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The tears that trickled down turned into pools, but this time it was from relief. I had never realized my small frame was about to break from the pressure of living in this world in a body that did not feel like mine. As she finished caring for my wounds, she told me stories of what it was like being part of the LGBTQ+ community. For the first time I felt understood and welcomed. I am normal, these feelings are normal, and I am valid. There were no longer mean and angry words running through my head; only her kind words played like my favorite song. I go back to this moment and relish in the feeling of care and acceptance when things get hard. I will forever hold her close to my heart as I live out my newly transitioned life as a Transgender </span><b>woman</b><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. </span>

(((((( Hug ))))))))) my heart goes out to you!!

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