No one's ever been like you, and no one ever will.
Times are extraordinarily difficult for trans folks. It's impossible to avoid constant reminders that legislatures, demagogues, religious groups, schools, social media platforms, athletic organizations, and our own loved ones outlaw us as pariahs, villains, and poster children for what ails society. It's to the point that the dominant trans narrative seems one of persecution and revilement.
But that's an illusion … that you, my trans friend, see through.
You are more than enough.
If you're a happily-cisgender person reading this with a heart-murmur of empathy for trans folks, can you imagine how it feels to be trans?
In the face of that, I tell you it's never been better to be trans. And it's only getting better.
Those last two sentences do nothing to diminish the horrific damage that the current backlash against trans people is wreaking on children, families, and those who transition with no support network.
To trans kids … You didn't ask for this. Though you've always known who you are, you're constantly called to justify yourself in a way cisgender kids don't ever pause at. You face a beast that would make most adults piss their pants. Remember: no matter who you are, no matter what's between your legs, everybody, and I mean everybody, has to fight to be who they are. A lot of folks hide that. You don't get the luxury—or curse—of hiding it or of finding out that hard truth in your 20s, 40s, or 70s. You have to do it now, when you're small and vulnerable, and that's a hideous failure on the part of adults to make a world where you're safe to grow. It hurts to be you right now. But it also glows with a light your heart sings to, in a way that those who really get joy can see. You wear it in a way the ages will recall. And you'll look back on yourself at this time and say, "I was and still am a badass."
To parents who won't support their trans kids … F*ck you, dirtbags, for letting your fear of what you don't know keep you from affirming and loving your little ones. For shitsakes, you brought a new life into the cosmos. They're not your clay to shape, nor is your integrity or self-worth on the line if your child grows in ways you never dreamt. If you're lucky, they'll have the courage to show your best and worst sides and not hold those against you. If you refuse to hear them because you hide behind a f*cked-up religious, cultural, psychological sham, my goddess, how will you ever face your true self on your deathbed? Wake up, motherf*cker!
To people who don't have trans kids but who think it's their duty to sway school boards, legislatures, and athletic programs to ostracize those little ones … F*ck you a hundred times over. It's none of your goddamn business. Pull your head out of your self-righteous asses and glimpse just for once the huge millstone you're tying around your neck above a very deep ocean. If you don't wake up now, sinking to the Mariana Trench might be the only way you do. Just remember, it's a long-f*ck climb outta there for a breath of air.
To parents, guardians, and relatives who support their trans kids … You are incredibly brave, steadfast, and holy. Your child blew apart your expectations, but you realized your little one isn't a sinner, a reject, psychologically messed up, or masterminding a plot to ruin your perfect parenting dream. You listen to your child. You give them a gift of trust that keeps them whole even as your heart and life fragment, especially if you live in a fucked-backwards state that labels you child abusers. Right now, you're having to quit your job, sell your home, and set up in a place far away, even while you're trying to do the thing the rest of us take for granted—live your life. Don't give yourself away! Look after you during this time of the locust. Your fields are barren, but you're sowing a harvest of blessing, integrity, and capacity of heart that put you in the company of the angels.
To caregivers and medical providers who continue to offer trans-affirming care even while politician-hacks make you wonder if the healing career you sacrificed years to win hangs in the balance … Do no harm? Hell, you're pouring water on the parched, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked. In the name of the goddess, you are the angels!
To my friends who've late-in-life realized your trans identity at the loss of everything—your marriage, the love of your children, your career … I see you there, with me. You take your first steps into the world as your true self, painfully aware of your five-o'clock shadow, the slip of your wig, the bulges behind your binder, your out-of-pitch voice, your ungainly steps in shoes your feet never wore, all the time knowing you're a spectacle … and you don't care, because, after all, you are spectacular. You, my friends, are motherf*cking archangels! Strut it proudly!
To the trans, nonbinary, and genderfluid soul who right now wrestles with what's happening to you, whether child, adolescent, or adult … You face something bigger than you've ever dared. Your loneliness feels like the only feeling you've ever felt. Like no one can know what's right now stretching your heart beyond exploding. And no one has ever felt it. Because this is you. You get to be who you are. And you know that who you are is not just a lightning rod for the malformed culture you live in, but that you've been struck by lightning with the conviction that this is it.
Put down the razor blade, pills, gun, or other tool of destruction and gaze at your flesh. This is you, baby. You're real. What you feel is more real than any dogma, platform, or "real-world" hoax they try to shove down your throat. Hell, yes, it hurts! It's gonna keep hurting.
But you'll be here. You'll stand and cry out, "Enough!"
You'll live your life. As you.
No matter what the motherf*ckers, dirtbags, and scum-sucking busybodies do. Every breath you take makes them choke. In the end, you don't owe them a f*cking thing. You're breathing because it feels good to breathe for the first time in your life.
Don't do it to spite anyone, least of all yourself.
Do it because that's what you do to thrive. You have every right to. No one breathes like you do. And behind the breaths comes a roaring proclamation. "I'm here! No one has ever been like me, and no one ever will."
That's more than enough.
Angels tremble in your presence.