In discovering Jaek, I’ve looked through the past to look for signs that were showing themselves not to just me but to my family. More specifically, my mom. I wonder if it’s true that a mother knows her child better than themselves. I hope so. I hope that she knows deep in her heart and soul that her child feels foreign in the body he was given in the DNA mixing pot.
I hope she knew before I entered the world that I would be a boy. I wonder if her heart ached for me upon the discovery that I was to have girl parts. But she chose to stay silent because it wasn’t something that was talked about at that time. I wonder if she stayed silent so that I would struggle and come to the realization about my true self on my own. Perhaps it was her way of protecting me from a harsh reality at that time.
Growing up, I rebelled against what was considered the norm for me. Once I was old enough to recognize that I didn’t want those things, I fought against it. I wanted my hair short and wear boy clothes. I wanted GI Joe’s and cars. I got away with the short hair and wore a lot of gender neutral clothes. I got a mix of both boy and girl toys. I then cut off all my dolls and barbie’s hair. It was my own way of telling people I wanted to be a boy without saying anything.
One day I said something.
My mother was helping me get ready for bed and I told her ‘ I hate god because he didn’t make me a boy.’
She spanked me and said that its not right to hate god and he doesn’t make mistakes. After that, I stayed silent for a long time. I don’t know if it was how she was raised and the era that she came from that anything that deviated from what was common at that time was in fact abnormal. Who was I to blame? I had no concept of biology at that age and since I was told it was wrong to hate god, I blamed myself. I tried to force myself to put those thoughts out of my mind. They didn’t quite leave, just buried deep.
I can take comfort in knowing that no matter what, I’ll have the support and love of my friends and the transgender community. But I worry about my mother. Will she, in the aftermath of the loss of one child, be able to accept another? I know that what defines me, not my gender but the core of what drives me, my compassion, my love, the things she instilled in me, will not change.
I can only hope she see that.