Names and Pronouns

Pronouns. Depending who I come out to, after the whole “so you’re gender fluid-” “no” bit, one of the first questions I get is “what pronouns do you use?” And for a very long time- almost five years since I started thinking seriously about gender, in fact- I’ve asked people to just call me “she” until I tell them otherwise. 

Now, as with coming to terms with my asexuality, I’ve come to terms with terms. I get mistaken for a guy more often than, say, my mother does, even when I’m not binding. When I introduce myself on the Internet, I tend to just not mention gender unless someone specifically asks, so they can pick their own terms for me. I plan to keep doing this. 

However, I also really like “he” pronouns. I like the way I feel when people call me sir. I like when people don’t realize their “mistake” and don’t apologize. So while I will accept most pronouns, including “she” and “they,” I prefer “he” pronouns. 

And then there’s names. I’ve been signing my posts Terrance for over a year, even while telling myself that I can’t name myself that, that I need a better name. I’m still not sure about it. But I know that I like Terrance, the way it tastes, the colors of it, the shape of it. For now, it fits. 

If I’m called Terrance, I can also be called both Teri and Terry. Masculine and feminine. Plausible deniability for my parents, for my mother’s family. I can, maybe, keep my family, if I don’t do hormones, if I stay in the closet and don’t get surgery. I can have this. 

I’m scared of losing my family. Of my mother dismissing me, of my dad being confused and uncomfortable. And I don’t want to hear about how other people’s comfort doesn’t matter in the face of mine- that’s not who I am. I care about other people’s conort around me. I want them to be comfortable. 

Only time will tell, I suppose. But for now I remain, 

Very truly yours,

Terrance

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Christmas break

I hate this bed
My bed, repurposed.

Dense flat pillows,

 
plastic mattress cover creaking.

A person I don’t know well

Turns above me and sighs
My back can only be turned to the door

My bed too far from the wall

A mattress with sheets,

One woven blanket

Naked of the nest of

Stuffed things

Pillows

Blankets

Which I’ve dreamed about for months

I don’t know where they are.

I’m visible from the doorway

Unable to hide

Unable to burrow

Or even sit up straight
And I can’t stop thinking

How I hate this bed,

Hate where it lives

Hate how much

I hate it

Feeling

I’m not feeling much. I have finals in a day. I should feel… Something. Scared. Stressed. Motivated. Something. 

Instead I’m feeling blank, a bit nauseous, a bit tired. I’ve gotten enough sleep. I’ve eaten too much. I’m aimless and I really need to study for my finals but more than that I need to feel something. And I’m not. 

I hate being trans

I hate being trans. I hate feeling like I don’t fit, I hate how my gender confusion twists in with my bodily dysphoria till I can’t tell one from another. I hate living with cis girls who think of me completely as a girl, I hate being afraid to come out, I hate it. 

And I can’t come out. I’m going to school, I don’t trust anyone enough to keep my secret and talk about it in real life, I’m far from the people who would listen or care. I’m sick of only being around cis people, because talking about how my body feels only makes them uncomfortable and I spend too much time trying to make people comfortable around me. 

I can’t even say whether coming out would help. I know I want top surgery, but I don’t want the conversations, the explaining, the saving and waiting. I don’t want to have to deal with this, with having a body and a gender and a presentation and I want to be a doctor I can’t transition when I have my MD but I won’t be able to afford it before them. 

And oh, I want to be a doctor. That’s the only thing I’ve never doubted, though I tried so hard to convince myself I didn’t want it. It’s going to be hard, so hard, to go to science classe, to learn chemistry and biology and then go to medical school. But it would be even harder to do all of that and be called “Dr.” and then be called by a woman’s name, be called a woman. 

I can’t be a woman. I’m not. I’ve known about trans people since I was very young, but I’ve no idea how I’m going to address this and keep my family. I can drop my friends, the irl ones who make fun of me for every piece of myself I give them, who tease me about how one day I’ll have a crush, how I’m a nerd. 

I’m so sick of being stuck here. I want to leave this school and take science classes till I can’t see straight and try to forget how wrong my body feels. I don’t even wish I’d been born male- I just wish I didn’t have a perceived gender to deal with. 

I’m procrastinating writing a paper right now, I should get back to that. 

Yours as always,

Terrance