March 2001

To Learn

I was watching "Boys Don't Cry" the other day, and I realized that I was crying at the end. Geez, of all things ... I'm not exactly the type that bawls at the end of movies, y'know. But something about that movie just made me think. Before watching that, I'd never given a thought to transsexualism, beyond stereotyping it as strictly a male practice. I mean, I've never thought of the women that undergo surgery to become men or pass as men. I've always thought of it as being akin to "drag-queens", and I knew I wasn't one of those. However, I've always thought of myself as more masculine than feminine. Which made me wonder ... I felt like that could've been me ... I can imagine myself transitioning. Thus, my realization: I was a transsexual! I'd always considered myself butch simply because I didn't know of any other term for it. I'd never really delved into the particulars of transsexualism because I'd never imagined that it had anything to do with me ... so when I saw that movie, I guess I recognized something in Brandon that I had within me.

I gave this tremendous thought ... I was blown away by the possibilities. What would I do ... would I totally change my plans and goals, would I desert my responsibilities to my family (i.e. put myself in a position that would completely alienate my mother ... the mother that I wished I could please ... I want to become a successful lawyer! I want to provide for her so perhaps she will accept me ... ), would I do all this just to be who I am, just to transition, and so fulfill my selfish desires? On one hand I had all my responsibilities, all the expectations of everyone; and on the other hand, I had everything I wanted to be, really ... that is, the free-spirited playwright, poet, author, and actor living in Greenwich Village. This is my life ... I am beset by possibilities, and at the same time, everyone around me heaps expectations upon my divided and torn psyche. It seems this is the plight of every human upon the earth. There is the selfish will and the selfless responsibility.

So I must make my choice. I will, for her sake and for the sake of everyone who believes in me, take up my burden and stay the course. I will not transition, I will cease to imagine myself as a man. It is not so hard ... however, I remain gay. Yet even that is questionable now. To my mind, it is far simpler to stay forever unbound, but I don't think that I have the strength of will to do so. Let humanity realize that life is more than vain ambition, but it is the preservation of others' illusions which is truly important. For love I believe I do this, because I would not have my mother suffer. It is enough that I suffer.

Don't think that I write this seeking pity ... I don't. I write it because so many others come to a crossroads where they must make a decision. I have made mine. It is a reassurance, of sorts, to know that it is not in vain ... there are those that must suffer as I do. But we do not regret it, I hope. Let the world move forward, in ourselves, we are small ... far better for myth and illusion to continue.

Au revoir,



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