Hey everyone. Just a quick warning—this isn’t the typical sort of post I would write and is not the kind of thing you can expect in the future. This blog has always been about my art and writing and that is how it will stay.
But in light of recent events, this is something that I feel I need to get out there, more for myself than for anyone reading it, so please bear with me. It may be an uncomfortable or triggering subject for some, so if LGBTQ related topics aren’t to your liking, you may want to pass on this one. I certainly understand and hope that you will stick around for the content that you’ve come to expect.
Many of you know (and others might suspect) that I am transgender. Hopefully that didn’t shock anyone, but there it is. I won’t bore you with explanations of what that means or how it works. In the unlikely event that you don’t know (hard to imagine these days, as we seem to be all the rage) I encourage you to research the topic, for there are resources out there that can explain the particulars far better than I. Nor do I intend to debate the subjects of biology, DNA, or God’s intentions. I welcome civil discourse or questions but hateful comments will not be permitted. Take that sort of thing to Reddit, if you don’t mind. Thanks. ❤
Now, this is not about my personal story, which, aside from a few particulars and its own unique cast of characters, isn’t all that different from that of thousands of other well-documented transgender journeys shared by many of the courageous people who have blazed this trail before me. One thing, however, makes my story a bit unusual, while certainly not unprecedented, and it is for that reason that I feel compelled to write this piece.
Being trans is not something I normally talk about, let alone announce for all to know. I’ve never really deemed it relevant and would prefer that people get to know me without unwarranted preconceptions. In short, it’s nobody’s business. So yeah, I’m trans, but it never really seemed to matter, which is as it should be.
Except that, well, it DOES kind of matter.
Anyone who has seen or read the news, particularly in the past year or so, has witnessed the terrible dichotomy that exists for those of us in the LGBTQ community. While we have made enormous strides in issues of civil rights and public acceptance, we’ve also seen the terrible backlash that has erupted as a result of this newfound visibility. Public outcry, a rash of anti-LGBT legislation, and terrible acts of violence have marred what might have been a major positive turning point in the history of LGBTQ freedoms in this country, in some cases the very freedom to live.
I have been extremely lucky. I live in a small Midwestern town, in an area of the US not known for having a great deal of understanding or acceptance for people like myself. For me, as for almost anyone in my situation, the fear of losing one’s job, friends, or even family was a risk that kept me closeted for many years. To my surprise, and profound relief, things could not have gone better since I began my transition some years ago. I still have my job as well as my friends (including many new ones), and I am closer to my family than ever before. Sadly, this is so often not the case for LGBTQ folks, and I am grateful every day for the graciousness and understanding of the people in my life.
So it’s all good, right? What’s the problem?
I’ve watched with a saddened heart as many of my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community suffer terrible injustices and abuses. I often felt that because I’ve had it “easy” I wasn’t worthy of bearing the mantle of that oppression. The truth is that I was afraid. I’ve stayed largely silent, fearing to bring upon myself the very prejudice that, for whatever reason, I’ve managed to avoid. After all, one does not need to be a military historian to know that it’s a bad idea to look a gift horse in the mouth.
I have never been ashamed of being trans, but I didn’t want to be known as a “transperson”, as if it was some kind of qualifier. I just wanted to be a “person”, plain and simple. And while I still don’t think that being trans makes me any more or less special than anyone else, it DOES make me different. It’s a part of me that I can’t deny or change, no matter how much I might try to downplay it. So, while I wish that it didn’t matter (and I realize that to some it doesn’t), I still want people to know. I’m trans. I exist. WE exist. And we’re people, just like everyone else. This isn’t about changing hearts and minds or preaching progressive ideals. It’s about being visible and letting my voice be heard.
My name’s Jess. I’m an artist, writer, and part-time blogger. I like fantasy, science fiction, and military history. I dig dance music and am totally hooked on watching game vids on Twitch and YouTube. I’m a runner, gamer, and a nerd who collects swords and just about anything dragon-related.
And, oh yeah, I’m trans.
Big deal, right? 😛
I’m hopeful that for the majority of you, this really isn’t even an issue. If so, you’re amazing and I’m honored to count you among my friends.
This blog was not (and is not) about political correctness or LGBTQ issues. It’s not a platform for ranting or soapboxing. In fact, I have no intention of posting about this topic ever again, if I can avoid it. Maybe it’s just that it’s Pride Month, or maybe I’m just sick to death of all the hate I’m seeing in the news, but I felt that I needed to get this out.
This post will endure, ever a part of this page, just as my transition will always be a part of my life, moving ever farther down the timeline to the past, where it will linger in memory—old, forgotten, and hopefully, one day, irrelevant in a world where it such things longer matter. A world where everyone, regardless of who they are, where they’re from, what they believe, what color their skin is, or who they love, can live together in harmony.
Which is as it should be.
Thanks for reading. Hugs.