better than the people that brought me into this world.
Nor am I courageous for diving straight in at age 16,
saying, “I’m your son” to a mother who had just begun
the process of accepting her lesbian daughter.
The pressure that weighs down on me as I fill the
syringe and the pain that pierces through my thigh
upon contact with a 22 gauge needle doesn’t make
me a better man than I would’ve been otherwise.
To say that there has never been a time in my life
where I have waivered on my decision to go forth
with this new life, this gender that is new to everyone
else but me, would be a grand but terrible lie.
Because I have always been Matt, but sometimes I
wonder what that even means.
And it still hurts – 3 years, 2 months to today – to
see the way my family looks at me. Like a shadow
of a deceased niece and granddaughter, now nephew
and grandson, even though they don’t want me.
The words “You are going to hell” echo in my head
every time I look my grandmother in the eyes.
I think she knows.
But I weigh the pros and cons and I know me. I
know that I would be dead, decomposing under a
headstone etched with the wrong name if 16 year old me
hadn’t been stupid enough to let the secret out four days
after he found out exactly who he was.
I am not brave for knowing myself,
I am only surviving from it