“As it turns out, we’re all still learning to be men, or women, all still learning to be ourselves.”
― Jennifer Finney Boylan, She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders
So much of this is about perspective. How much are you willing to withstand. You’ve remained this long; you might as well keep going in this way. But what does it mean to pause your way out of yourself. What I mean is, what if you can’t continue like this. Yes, you are beautiful or of course, you are handsome, but that does not help you to survive this.
So you purchase a notebook. Grab a pen with enough ink to last through many rounds of notes. You begin to read every book swallowed by your skin. The memoirs of each scar. You cram hours of studying, forego sleep to become a scholar of your body. All this time you really thought you knew yourself, but you were just a stranger.
You circumcise your tongue anytime someone wants to know what hides behind your zipper. They question the strength of your gender. They search for consistency. Search for known markers: hair length, texture of clothing, the humans you hang around, your voice. You find yourself falling in love with humans who understand the blur of gender. You gravitate toward the ones who can speak on it for hours without running out of syllables. You tattoo more words on your skin to remind yourself to speak up more.
You silence your silence away.
This is the moment. This is the moment in which you contemplate labels. Maps. Where you want/need to be. You leave your hair alone. You make love to yourself as though you are no longer a stranger.You give up trying to find suitable spackle to fill in the cracks of your identity. Instead, you leave these cracks alone. They are fissures. They are openings. They are breaths.
This is the moment you arrive.