It’s been tough recently. I mean, I’m not talking about things outside the US – that’s been tough, too. Or climate change (which is both inside/outside the US) which is just…intense. But just here. And in the UK, too, I suppose.
I’ve been fighting to just be me in the world, I guess, since I was four. That’s the first time I expressed that my gender differed from my sex assigned at birth to my family. This year, that’ll be forty years of fighting just to exist. And as hateful bigots in the Republican party have decided that an onslaught on women, queer, brown and trans folks’ rights is the way to ensure their ‘base’ is sufficiently energized [read: filled with hateful bile] to come out and vote for them [it’s hard to persuade them to vote for the R’s on their actual main policy of enriching themselves at the expense of the poor and middle class], I’ve been feeling… tired.
Exhausted more like. Not beaten. Because I will never, ever give up my right to be me in the world. But I’ve been feeling more trans than I sometimes do. A lot of the time it kinda fades into the background. Like the fact I have a fatty liver, or that I’m at high risk for colon cancer. Like the fact my hair’s going grey, or that my knee’s a bit knackered from the bike accident. It’s part of the fabric of day-today-being-me, but not constantly at the forefront. In fact, until the last few years it was often not even in my head at all for days at a time.
But now… Right now? It can’t slip into the background. The news is shouting about how trans folks are some giant conspiracy (to what? have a nice cup of tea and a sit on the sofa? That’s my main agenda); about how trans kids should be tortured and pushed to suicide; about how we shouldn’t have healthcare or exist outside our own houses. Not that we should be allowed to exist there – because when you’re a kid apparently you’re too young to make a decision until you’ve experienced puberty. Then once you’ve experienced the pain of the wrong damn puberty then you’re apparently too [insert sex here] to transition.
Did I say fuck these people? Because fuck these people. Fuck them. I hope they rot.
I know how hopeless, how lost, how betrayed by my body I felt. It’s taken me forty years to get to a point where I can feel invested enough in this flesh sack to drag it out for regular exercise. And that only happened five fucking days ago.
I did manage – back in Bristol – to negotiate cycling to work. That was the best I’ve felt about my body before. And maybe if I’d continued that then I would have got to this point sooner – because I actually felt better about myself when I was kinda forced-exercising. But actually to do more than the bare minimum maintenance? That’s taken years of intermittent yoga at home, a lot of love and care from my wife, and a lot of working through shit in my head.
Ironically, I think that this burst of activity might in a way be a fuck you to the legislators who want me to disappear and die. Just that attitude from them makes me want to live as long as possible. Just to spite the small minded turds.
But yeah, it’s hard to feel positive. I’ve heard this music before.
Britain’s legislative landscape is so atrocious that NZ granted a trans woman asylum. That’s the work of the evangelical funded TERFs coming to fruition. It doesn’t make trans folks go away — excepting that some trans kids will kill themselves. A tragic loss that some TERFs seem happy to gloat over. Mainly it just makes life worse for trans folks, which is a shit thing to crow over.
When I stopped running TGY I really, really thought that we were close to the UK becoming an accepting, equitable place for queer folks. I didn’t think we were there, but we didn’t seem as many millions of miles away as we were when I joined the group. Instead, the UK’s slid backwards, and the evangelical right have learned from those first forays into ruining peoples lives and driving folks to death, and decided to replay the record on fresh instruments in the US.
As you have probably gathered, I’m feeling pretty negative about it.
But the running every day? That’s been nice.
…at least, sometimes.