So, apparently I’m blogging again. No one is more surprised by this than me. The reason I stopped in the first place was to protect myself.
Last spring, people suddenly collectively realized, as if we had just magically appeared, that trans people exist and also use public restrooms. It’s not as if I hadn’t dealt with transphobia before, but I had never felt the weight of it like this before. I used to have this optimistic belief, at least on some level, that people were basically reasonable, that they could be swayed by logical, well-substantiated arguments and evidence. Like I was swayed when I started questioning the things I had been taught while growing up.
But it just became so obvious, so overwhelming, that people aren’t like that. I was being smothered, suffocated, in a sea of words from people who weren’t reasonable, who wouldn’t listen, who would never change their minds because of mere facts.
When you hear a thing often enough, from enough different sources, even if you know it’s wrong, it starts to affect you. You doubt yourself. You wonder if you’re being unreasonable.
And these people keep saying, over and over and over, that their children are at risk because people like me want to be treated with common decency. Even when they don’t blame us directly for that imaginary danger, they’re perfectly happy to throw us under the bus to avert it. And, irony of ironies, we, who are being blamed, discounted, ignored, villified. We are the ones who are actually in danger.
And even when there was some spark of light, when there was one person who listened, the crushing weight of the horde drowned them out. Even the words of those who already understood, who gave their support, could not shelter me from that ocean of lies and hate and unsubstantiated fear.
So I withdrew. I got away from it all. I protected myself. I left the good behind with the bad, because the bad grew beyond what I could bear.
And every time I can’t avoid hearing about that mess, the “controversy” of our mere existence, of the fulfilment of our most basic needs, it hurts. But better avoiding it than seeking it out, confronting it, dashing myself to pieces on it.
Somewhere along the way, something in me broke. Up became down and black became white. My whole world went off-kilter. The right words could convince anyone of anything. What use are words, then? How can they be trusted? If even the most patently absurd conclusion can be defended with pretty words, alluring words. How many things have I got wrong because I was swayed by useless words?
Disconnect. Disorganized thoughts. Everything off balance. The impossible suddenly becoming real. That man, whose name I can barely stand to hear, being put in charge of a nation?
People keep saying that things will get better in the long run, but the future doesn’t help me in the now. And if history is any guide, things will get worse before they get better.
I can barely stand to look at my blog feed, half the time. Even when people aren’t blogging about that man, or that “controversy”, sometimes just seeing posts about normal transition things can bring up all of those feelings.
And how do I even figure out where avoiding something is healthy and where it isn’t? If something makes me feel depressed every time I read about it, then it’s no good to be reading about it all the time.
Non sequitur. I read something I had things to say about. Things that maybe hadn’t already been said a dozen times by other people. So I wrote things. I have things to say. Maybe I could start writing again. Maybe it could help to put some of my thoughts into words. It helped when I could finally articulate the way I felt, off-balance, upside down, uncertain in the worst ways.
But I still need to be careful what I read. There are still things I can’t talk about without falling apart. These wounds haven’t suddenly healed because I feel like I can write again.