What if I didn’t pass?

I’m on holiday with my boyfriend enjoying what might be called a “normal” life of a woman in her fifties. Except that I’m Trans.

I sometimes catch myself doing simple day to day activities and think, “what if?”

What if my voice surgery hadn’t worked?

What if my hair restoration hadn’t been sufficient?

What if I hadn’t done all the things I did to be passable, and made the transition to this privileged place of simply living?

I don’t have to concern myself with the people I meet accepting me.

I don’t work need to worry about my children or boyfriend or his family having to decide if they want to manage an obviously Trans person in their lives. To be concerned with becoming targets of hate or transphobia themselves.

I felt like I had to transition, but the potential downside of not passing is something that I’m not sure I completely grasped.

I read stories every day of Trans women being treated horribly simply because they are Transgender. I read about them being discriminated against or attacked and even killed, and it scares me.

I read about the parents of Trans children being outed and ostracized. Their lives being turned upside down.

Sometimes I almost feel guilty for not being more out and public about my gender status, but it’s not just about me. When I chose to transition, it was about everyone in my life having a potential challenge in order to just be with me.

My need to transition was quite real. It wasn’t a trendy or a whimsical decision I decided on impulse, but a burden and a need I carried for over fifty years. It was something that negatively affected every single relationship in my life every second of every day. I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to be living as I had hoped. But there are times I wonder, “what if?”

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TransGen

Genivieve is a Transgender Artist living in Santa Barbara California.