I should give you a nice introduction. I think I’m better at endings than beginnings. But I’ll try.
Hi. (Too informal?) Hello. I’m sixteen – or at least I will be in a couple of weeks – and most of this stuff I’ve already written in the about page. The important things are that I’m anxious and depressed, yet, somehow, I’m about ten times happier than I was last year, and the year before that – and I happen to be transgender (yes, one day I aspire to grow a beard and arm-wrestle strangers while drinking beer and talking about sports), and I also APPARENTLY, though this is a topic of much debate, apparently I have Asperger’s syndrome, that just means you’re not very social and kind of reclusive, it’s on the autism spectrum or something vague and meaningless like that – and I write stories, and I play music, and I wish I’d been born in the 1800s so I could dress up in boys’ clothes, steal a horse, and run away to Alaska to make a living sifting for gold in the cold northern rivers. I don’t know. I think that’d be pretty fun. I mean, I wear “boys’ clothes” already, but that doesn’t stop people from calling me a girl, nope. What do they want me to do, draw a mustache on myself? Will that do it?
Somehow I think not. At school today, going in for the lunch hour (I only take two classes on account of the fact that I missed the last two years because I was curled up in my room staring at walls and everyone, rightly, figures I can’t handle four), I went to my friend’s house where we always meet up at lunch. They didn’t show up. I’d told them to call my cellphone if something was up and they wouldn’t be there. But you know, boys. I mean – other boys. I’m getting used to this still, excuse me.
Anyways, figuring they just weren’t going to show up, I angrily marched off towards school and slid in to head to English class and sit outside, sad and lonely, and eat my lunch on my own – and there was a kid playing a guitar down the hall. I sat for a while, listening – it was out of tune – while social and anti-social battled for supremacy in my brain. Eventually I went over, legs shaky from what I like to call “talking to people nerves” and I went and told the guy his guitar was out of tune. Another kid grabbed the guitar to check. He tuned it. Then we started talking – I said I played guitar, so he handed it over and I played. I sang a bit, too, and they all listened closely, which I found kind of surprising. He exclaimed to his friend, “She’s better than you!” She. She. Always she. And then I handed it back and we talked some more, and it looks like – somehow – I just made a new friend. Or a couple of new friends. Or whatever. Tomorrow, assuming my anti-social tendency doesn’t tell me to avoid the situation entirely, I’m going to go back and bring my guitar and play with them some. I’m not sure if I should mention the inaccuracy of them thinking I’m a girl – I figure the cool guy, the guitar whiz (he’s small and still has a high voice, even though we’re apparently almost exactly the same age, and he’s got long blond hair and a kind of hippie-like niceness that I can appreciate), I figure he might actually understand if I tell him to call me a boy. The others, I don’t know – probably, they seem nice.
So, friends. How weird. That doesn’t usually happen to me – all the friends I have, I’ve had for years and years, thereby erasing the need to have to make new ones. In English class I’ve got my old friend Zoe to sit next to, which makes my anxiety shoot way down – and when she’s not there, I have the quiet Chinese girl with the excess of cute Chinese pens with animals on them to talk to. And also two guys that like Legend of Zelda, who I’m thinking about trying to be friends with. Maybe we already are. Whatever, I don’t know how friends work, really. I stumble through things trying to not fall on my face, that’s all.
My English teacher is amazing. Ms. Nutting. So is my history teacher (I take gifted history, for some bizarre reason, and what I’ve learned that in gifted history everyone is about twice as nice and twice as smart as your average run-of-the-mill kids). I haven’t once been teased this year, so that’s a trend I’m glad for – I’ve never been teased, actually. Not once. I figure it’ll happen eventually, but it hasn’t yet. I thought transgender kids were the ultimate targets for bullies – but they haven’t zeroed in on me so far. I’ll cross my fingers. And maybe it’s not totally obvious – if I was a boy who dressed like a girl, then probably I’d be in for some serious trouble, but when you’re a “girl” who dresses like a boy, you’re safer. It’s stupid, but it’s the way things are. I guess I could be mistaken for gay or just “different.” Hey, that’s fine. I’ll take different over “weird and transgender.”
Speaking of which – and this might be desperate wishful thinking – but I think that there’s a girl in English class who likes me. She isn’t the eighth wonder of the world or anything, but she always looks at me when I’m talking (I talk a lot in English because I can’t help trying to be smart, I try not to be annoying, at least), and once when I said something she nodded along like YES, I HEARD YOU, I HEARD YOU! She isn’t annoying or insufferable like some girls I’ve come across. I’d say she hovers in the general vicinity of “acceptable to interesting.” I’m a bit of a jerk, aren’t I? But it’s nice to be appreciated, even if she doesn’t LIKE me and she’s just being nice. She’s got long blond hair, a low voice (guess she could be a boy, it’s possible), though not so low that it’s weird, and if it weren’t for her slightly overdone mascara I think I’d probably be pretty interested. I’m stupid about make-up but I don’t like when people wear too much of it. I am, of course, desperate for some sort of romantic thing to happen to me. I figure everyone my age is. If she would like to ask me out, I will say yes. I imagine that will never happen and I’ll die in a shack in Alaska with my notebook, having never once kissed anyone or even held someone’s hand.
While I’m meandering along in the romance department, I’ll mention briefly my friends. One certainly has a crush on me – he even said so in grade five. We were supposed to spit a pebble in the direction of the person we liked, and he spit a pebble at me. Romantic? Not really. Kind of flattering, though. Since then, he’s grown tall and even more annoying and smart, and I’ve grown transgender. He saw the button on my bag that says ‘TRANSGENDER’ (I got that at a gay pride picnic, oops for putting it in plain sight where my friends can see) and I had to be vague and say that Oh, I’d just gotten it at some gay pride thing, doesn’t mean anything. I wonder if I’ll ever tell him. Stupid me, the reason he hasn’t mentioned his crush on me for such a long time is because he thinks I’m gay. No wonder.
I imagine our conversation as it would be in the late 1800s. I’m standing out in the barn (I dunno, it’s just some barn somewhere) with my hand on a horse, about to get up and ride away, dressed in my boys’ clothes. Wanting to join the army or something. And he comes along and exclaims as to what the heck I’m doing – and he’s a respectable, handsome, intelligent young gentleman, and I am not – and I have to explain, as the sun sets over the hills of pre-industrialized eastern Canada, that I wish to be a boy, and fight for my country in the war. (Some war, I don’t know which. There’s always a war going on, have you noticed that?) And he says, But I’ve always loved you! And I exclaim softly, I know, and… deep within me, I harbor similar feelings. But… I must leave. I must be who I am meant to be. And then I hop on the horse and ride away to meet my fate. That would be a terrible movie.
It’s hard, keeping such a secret. (By the way we’re back in present day now.) My mom and my psychiatrist know, but that’s it. It’s not something you just casually slip in during dinner. Or maybe you do? The hell do I know. I don’t know anyone else who’s transgender. My plan so far is just to keep dressing and acting the way I do, and hoping it rubs off on people eventually. Or maybe it won’t. People seem to like denial, I’ve noticed. Even I was in denial about this whole transgender thing for oh, about the first fifteen years of my life – only very recently have I finally forced myself to accept that I’m not just “boyish”, I AM a boy. And I can’t freakin live with being a girl for much longer. If there was a magic wand that could be waved and make me a boy, I’d go for that magic wand in a heartbeat. If it meant not having to explain to my family, or my friends, then yes, I’d do it. I would.
This post is pretty long and rambly. Sorry. Probably nobody got this far. And if you did, then thanks. I tend to barf out my feelings in long essays like this a lot – better than keeping them in, though. It’s nice to see your feelings laid out in black and white.
My mom just came in to remind me to go to bed. And then she closed my window. God, I hate that. I’m always too hot, I need the window open for the fresh, beautiful, fall-smelling air – she left it open a crack after I got mad. Also I have a weird fear of choking to death from carbon dioxide intake if my window isn’t open, but you don’t have to worry about that, that’s just another one of my obsessive fears that I get every once in a while. I wonder when my mom will stop regulating my bed time. Of course I still stay up much later than I actually get ready for bed – often pretty late, mulling things over or writing or… other late-night activities. Most personal things I can talk about, but that one I can’t.
Anyways, tomorrow I’ll get up, grab my guitar, and I’ll go to school wearing my various boy-like clothes, feeling self-conscious and generally uncomfortable, and meet up with my new hippie friends in the hallway and play music with them. I’m bothered that the kid so easily figured out I’m a “girl.” Is it my voice? Probably it’s that. Maybe I need a floating neon sign over my head that says BOY, with a giant arrow pointing down at my head.
Nah, then people would look at me funny. Well, I think this post is pretty much over – I’ve got to “get ready for bed” before my mom gets mad and storms in ruining my flow. I love her (probably more than anyone else in my family, but don’t tell them I said that), but she gets on my nerves to no end. I’m almost sixteen and I ought to be able to stay up into the wee hours of the morning if I so choose. I’m my own man.
Just to finish this off, I’ll be posting more in the future. Probably lots more. If you’ve actually gotten here, thanks again so much for reading, and hopefully, for caring – I don’t really want a lot of people reading this, but then again, just one like (as long as it’s not more freaking spam) makes me sort of get the feeling that somebody out there at least doesn’t hate what I’m writing. Do whatever you want, like, don’t like, follow, don’t follow. I just have to say thank you for taking the time.
See you later. ~The Cellar Boy