(trigger warning for the last third, following “I wish I could have”: rape, incest, heroin, trauma)
Tell your story.
Speak your truth.
I’ve heard these phrases a lot. Trans women have heard these phrases for decades. We hear them from cis people, at a frequency up there with “have you had the surgery?”
And I don’t trust them.
When they ask us to tell our stories, we know what they mean. They want us to tell the story they want to hear, and often the story they wish to tell. They want us to confirm their expectations and understanding, and to provide them with the juicy, sensational, dark, harrowing, brave and inspiring narrative they’ve come to know, and come to understand as synonymous with what a trans woman is.
It is impossible to extricate the concepts of transgender and transsexual from the narratives we’ve built around them, and attached them to. Which has all kinds of brutal consequences. We ARE the stories and memoirs, and the genres that define them circumscribe our identities.
There’s absolutely a genre for the life story of a trans woman. The Traumatic And Inspiring Transition Memoir. [Read more…]