Sometimes I feel like I have all the right reasons to closet myself from myself. In a way, it would be easier to try to be a straight cis woman. I’ve been socialized to be one. Pretty much every mannerism and speech pattern that I’ve picked up since age 13 (that’s at least half of them) is traditionally female. My body fits into and looks relatively good in feminine clothing. (Whenever I’m home on break, my mom keeps telling me, “you’re so pretty when you choose to be!” >__< ) I wouldn't have to come out as anything and face rejection from my parents and relatives and from the religion I was raised in. I wouldn't have to worry about being prevented from seeing my brothers and cousins, whom I love dearly. I wouldn't have to choose a grad school by whether it offers trans* healthcare coverage. I wouldn't have to struggle into tight sports bras or ace bandages. I could have my grandma buy clothing for me–she likes doing that. (She always wanted a girl to dress up, but then she had two sons, and then I came along but was basically a boy with ovaries. Maybe my little girl cousin will be cis, but she's only like 2 years old.) I wouldn't have to worry about being raped or killed just for using the bathroom. I wouldn't have to worry about whether a woman would reject me because I'm too much like a guy. I could stop caring about transphobic trolls on HuffPo. I could check gender boxes without hesitation. I wouldn't have to worry about choosing whether, at my graduation, to out myself to my family as Chris or to out myself to underclassmen as my birth name. I could put on makeup and skirts and wear push-up bras and flirt with the Haverboys.
Except I can't.
I can't stop knowing. I can't stop wishing for the weird squishy things to vanish from my chest. I can't stop railing at the trolls, even when it feels like their ignorance is killing me. I can't stop pointing out how limited gender options are on forms. I can't stop how I feel when a pretty girl walks by holding her head up in a way that says "I'll kick your ass and make you want me to do it again rather than ignore you." I can't stop the envy I feel when I see a man in a really good suit. (I think the only reason I still tolerate having to go to church when I'm home on break is that Greek men tend to wear really good suits. As in I want to steal the ties off their necks.) I can't not feel the joy I have every time I manage to sound un-female while singing. I can't stop the way I swagger when I tuck a plaid shirt into boy jeans–how right it feels.
I can't not know that if I give in, if I die or conform, that it will be longer, even if only a little bit, until my trans* and queer brothers, sisters, and siblings have the equality they and I should have as human beings; that to die or conform is to give in to injustice, to say that what is now cannot and should not be changed. I must keep on, if only to keep others from falling down, too. It's not at all about what is easy, but what does any good.