An exploration of the ghosts of trans past, present, and future.

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I know that the answer is going to be “yes,” but if you’re trans and reading this, have you ever just looked back on your life and been like, “Ohhhh that thing I did makes way more sense now knowing that I’m trans.” For some of us, I know that the memories that made the most impact gender-wise can be traumatic and therefore closed off to the brain.

However, there are so many mundane events that made me think, “Why didn’t I realize this earlier??” I’ve seen plenty of people talk about this, but the consequences of it are much deeper than having a laugh about being an un-cracked egg (trans person who didn’t realize they’re trans). …

Stop highlighting transness in every compliment, please!

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Photo by Olivier Bergeron on Unsplash

While scrolling on Twitter and TikTok, the number of comments I’ve seen that are hyping up trans people makes me incredibly happy. However, for all the lovely, overenthusiastic allies, there tends to be a trend of over-validation of trans people’s identities. That, or the infantilization of trans people under the guise of being positive and supportive. While this is way better than seeing hordes and scores of comments with a bunch of openly transphobic garbage, these types of comments can feel anywhere from awkward to alienating.

What is Over-validation?

What does this mean, anyway? Over-validation in these cases is the unnecessary inclusion of compliments/comments relating to someone’s gender identity. …

My facial hair is my mortal enemy.

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Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash

Dear Beard,

We’ve been through quite a lot together, haven’t we? And by that, I mean you put me through a lot, haven’t you? Quite the relentless bully you are, sticking to me and imposing your power onto me. I was lucky, too, and I didn’t even know it. You didn’t start coming around until I was about 20. I almost thought you’d never show up, and as a high school student that crushed me. Little did I know, me wanting leg hair and other body hair was just a coping mechanism, and I really wanted nothing more than to be smooth as a marble 24/7. My blood curdles and a chill runs down my spine when I think about you. …

These terroristic protests are not misplaced patriotism. They are the incarnation of the true nature of the American way.

As you probably already know, some Trump-supporting individuals have decided to storm the Capitol. There’s a lot of talk about how this is incredibly un-American and against the principles of American democracy, but it’s really anything but. The only way this could have happened is if the system was designed to allow these people to openly and freely express their opinions and engender violent political actions. These people are not the product of anti-patriotism, but the result of deep and insidious American ideologies fermenting.

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Photo by Jorge Alcala on Unsplash

We need to stop conflating “moral” with “American.” So often, our politicians, friends, and authorities will talk about how doing the right thing is “American.” If we wanted to act within America’s past moral parameters, we’d be conquering most of the world by now. In fact, with our huge military presence and terroristic actions abroad, we really are still doing that even today. Lukewarm centrists and liberals will talk about how they miss Obama, but he did a lot of the same things Trump did, like detaining undocumented people and missile attacks on the Middle East. Whether they’re aware of it or not, any Republican (supporting Trump or not, but especially Trump supporters) is contributing to the oppression and destruction of marginalized people. …

“The LGBTQ community has no business demanding the respect everyone else gets!”

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Every morning I wake up with a huge smile on my face. Tossing the covers off my perfect body, I skip to the bathroom and drink in my gorgeous reflection. I am the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen, I almost automatically think to myself. Like the little river that Narcissus lay by, I could spend the whole day here with the water running, just staring at myself instead of washing my face and getting ready.

Once I’m clean and ready to go, I agonize over what outfit to wear, because I know that no matter where I go, people will be ogling and staring at me. …

It’s not being “born in the wrong body.” It’s so much more than that.

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I’ve been trying to place these feelings for a while now. I’ve never identified with the classic and easily digestible “wrong body” narrative myself, but I didn’t understand how I could possibly be trans if that wasn’t what was happening to me. If this is your narrative, that’s completely valid, too, but I don’t believe it expresses the essence of transness for everyone. As I was scribbling who knows what in my journal, the perfect word popped up in my head: estrangement. For me, and what might be the case for others, is the feeling of estrangement from existence.

With the advice of my friends and therapist, instead of tackling all my problems at once, I started breaking down everything into feasible chunks. I’d deal with my career separately from when I would deal with my social life, and so on and so on. …

Eddie finally lets out her biggest secret, forcing her to learn how to be again.

cw: transphobia, homophobia, slurs

When I moved to New York, I knew exactly what I was getting into. I didn’t want to act like it was going to be the same as all those well-lit Brooklyn apartment tours all over YouTube, lo-fi piano music playing in the background. While it would have been nice to have a boom-bap beat as the soundtrack to me finally starting over, it just wasn’t realistic. Instead, every morning began with the sound of construction, jackhammers smashing sidewalks while sedans blared songs over their shitty 2003 sound systems. With the little money I saved, though, even just scraping by was better than where I was before. …

It’s scary, seeing the worst possible version of you 70 years in the future.

I’m not sure if I’ve already written about this since I think about it so many times a day, but I may as well do it again! It’s cathartic to write. Anyway, since I couldn’t get my shit together out of college, I’m back to living at home again. That’s not really a problem in itself, though I feel super juvenile sleeping in my bedroom that I’ve had since middle school and only very recently redecorated. I love spending time with my mother and her fiance, especially since he’s been the only one that’s 100% never misgendered me as far as relatives go. …

The way I feel about gender for everyone else just doesn’t apply to me

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Many stories of transitions go like this: people realize they’re not cis, and even if they lose everything else, they know that their newfound identity is inalienable. If they have no other support, they have themselves and the hot determination of understanding their authentic self. As much as I’d like to say my journey went this way, I don’t feel like this at all, though.

I thought coming out as trans would turn my life around, but in actuality… it really hasn’t. …


Stella Luna (they/she?)

random nonbinary thoughts.

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