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Roots of Violence

By Mahina

The struggle for identity leads to violence on so many levels. How many murders of gender queers took place last year? I stopped taking count after so long. Just paid remembrance in silence when I learned the news of yet another fatality. The closest identity I identify with is Two-Spirit. My family reports of Native American heritage yet protest with any questioning. I will never step over the boundaries of Native American ritual.

For myself, I listened to the wisdom of the Appalachian Mountains where I grew up. There I learned I could be a little boy if I chose and maintain the female body I have. I could hear from long-dead spirits which I still feel to be family.
So I wanted to play baseball in the major league. On the playground, I was the best wide receiver on our football team. Fonzie was my role model so I studied engine diagrams & took my dad's lawn mower apart & re-assembled it.

Then one day, I grew breasts. My mom began accusing me of having sex. Yet, I had no idea what sex was! She started criticizing my appearance as I looked like a boy. Once she took me out of class and sent me home from school to change out of my brother's shirt. She prohibited me from working on the farm & made me watch soap operas and read Seventeen to learn how to apply make-up. She monitored my appearance when I had my class photo. The photo my Sophomore year of high school made me ashamed. It wasn't who I am, I thought. So I refused to give the pictures to my parents. She and my dad hit me and pushed me around the room. I wouldn't
let go of the pictures. They were mine to destroy.

Well, life went on. I left my home when I was legally able to be on my own. So happy when I got a job as an apprentice car mechanic. I loved it! Yet, I was diagnosed with an illness so I quit mechanics.
All I find I can do is join in with social groups to raise awareness of the truth of transgendered identity. I no longer try to understand why, just hope people will listen and understand.
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