Hey, buddy! Yeah, it’s about time you let me talk. You always talk about me in the third person, like I’m not you or something. We are the same person; ya dig? In fact, maybe I am you, but I guess we’re still figuring out how that’s going to go. When are you going to admit that the “you” you thought you were is actually me? I mean, you can keep pretending that I’m not real if you want, but you and I both know that’s a load of crap – you just want to keep everyone else happy, and not rock the boat. Can’t upset the status quo now, can we?
Remember a few weeks ago, that gay co-worker told a story about why he decided to come out some 20 years ago? It was largely political. These were the days of the gay marriage fight, and to him, it was important to support the LGBTQ+ community by coming out publicly to family, at work, everywhere. He is spot on that back then was a political inflection point, and many voices were needed to drown out the conservative minority. Now gay marriage is legal and “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military is a thing of the past.
However, never satisfied without a fight on its hands, the conservative elements have turned their sights on trans people – despite a record number of younger Americans identifying as trans or non-binary. In fact, they use that trend to support their rhetoric that this is all part of some sort of “liberal conspiracy.” The competing forces of more trans and non-binary people coming out than ever before in the face of a seemingly endless parade of anti-trans legislation can only mean we are at another such inflection point.
And here’s where it comes back to me! Face it, kid. You are trans. You were born with male genitalia, I get it, but it should be pretty clear by this point that what’s between your legs has little, if anything, to do with who you are as an individual. So, besides the fact that accepting that you are Alexis does wonders for your mental health, consider how becoming visible as yet another “trans girl next door” will help lift up everyone else. Not to get overly dramatic, but “you being unapologetically you” might literally save someone else’s life. What’s that saying? “Stronger Together?” Being an ally is great and all, but are you doing all you can to have a positive impact?
I know, in the final cost/benefit analysis, there’s a lot of potential risk – you’re moving a lot of other people’s cheese! But, you are a woman. I mean, I’m a woman! See? Now you’re getting to me, too. You’ve got me talking to you like you are somebody else. Let’s try this again:
Hello! My name is Alexis. I was born in 1972 and assigned male at birth. However, something never felt quite right, and as a consequence, I’ve never felt comfortable in my own skin. I never knew how to “dude.” Whatever instincts that should’ve taken over to make me enjoy being a boy never kicked in. The answer, of course, was right in front of my face the entire time, but I chose to ignore it and did my best to accept the role biology had chosen for me. And yet, my deepest hope was to be “mistaken” for a genetic girl, external validation that what I felt was true inside would be how I was perceived by the world. As I began to present my “true self” to the world, hiding my real intentions behind Halloween costumes, I would invest maximum time and effort to present myself as feminine as possible, all in the hopes that others would be convinced they were in the presence of a genetic female. And when that perception indeed held (for at least a few fleeting moments…), it only further validated my existence.
For too many years, I had convinced myself that the woman I would see looking back at me in the mirror was only an illusion, that my brain was playing tricks on me, and that any reasonable person would just see a “man in a dress.” Yet even if that nightmare situation played out in public, it doesn’t make my experience any less valid. Because when I look in the mirror, I only see a woman, and my perception is reality. And only at that moment do I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. In fact, one might say I feel “euphoric.” According to the Gender Wiki: “Gender Euphoria is a psychological condition which consists of comfort or even joy when thinking about one’s true Gender identity, often accompanied by a strong desire to change one’s sex to better match their identity or to be called the correct gendered language.” Which is really just a clinical way of saying, it makes me really happy when how I feel inside and my physical appearance (often including how the world perceives me) are 100% in sync.
I’m not even sure where all this rambling is leading, but since I’ve got the microphone now, I ain’t giving it back! It reminds me of a Tori Amos lyric: “Sometimes I hear my voice and it’s been here, silent all these years.”
Do you hear your true voice? What’s she trying to say? My intention here is that this essay inspires you to let your female voice speak up – she’s not another side of you, she just might be you.
More Articles by Alexis "Lexi" Moon
- Your Wife Will Never Be Your Surrogate
- Reframing “DADT”
- Why Passing Matters!
- Lexi’s Extraordinary Playlist
- The Last Temptation of Lexi