In the image, Necib is poised, strong, beautiful, and unapologetic. She belongs there: both her skilled feet and her painted hands. I thought of the young athlete I'd been and wished I could have seen something similar when I was still a child.
I feel, so often, that I have lost too many years by not having come out as transgender earlier in my life, yet the past also feels brief and momentary, the present ever-present. Everything becomes a moment.
The world feels like it has gotten at once bigger and smaller, with all these transitions.
"I was always telling the same story. For years, I thought its real power might be found in repetition: If I just told it often enough, then maybe, eventually, everyone would see me—my family, my adoption—as 'normal.' I wanted the story that had once convinced me to convince everyone. I wanted to believe I could make the story serve me."
My great-grandparents once had a homestead near Burns, in the shadow of an extinct volcano named Glass Butte for the obsidian flows on its slopes. The land is part of a ranch now and there’s nothing there anymore, if there ever was much of anything. But I wanted to see that scrap of nothing which is, when it comes down to it, one of the reasons I exist.
Every Sunday afternoon for two or three years, my parents took a long drive across town to attend Chinese church.
We were guests in the building, renters. The hymnals and Bibles of the church’s own congregation stayed in the pews. Every week, an usher hauled in the church’s box of books, with the name of our church written in marker.
Sometimes I suspected we were guests in Christianity, too.
Previously, from the same author. When my employer called me into his office and granted me paternity leave on the birth of my first child, I had no idea what I was in for. Most of my male coworkers had already left the office at this point, having impregnated willing strangers in order to take twelve weeks' paid time off in exchange for eighteen years of financial and personal responsibility. "It's twelve weeks' time off,"…
It was in my faint reflection of the Claire's store window, breath misting the glass as I considered the previously-unattainable - strands of a glimmering customizable necklace on display, the promise of femininity and allure all wrapped up in an $8.99 deal - that I came to my decision. I had a few well-worn dollars in my purse, and I was ready to make a change to my identity. It was a meticulously made decision,…