Monday, February 15, 2010

For a History Kept

By Aidan Christopher

[It was brought to my attention that I need to clarify and make a disclaimer: this is an opinion of myself and my history I see myself still as female and male, I do not mean to discount identities of others but feel that it is important to share narratives outside the normative trans narrative, this is mainly the idea that for me surgery does not end in me being male instead of trans, but rather that I will always be both female and male and that I am proud of that.]

I was born and raised female. I sometimes forget, and I hate when I do. I think it is important to remember my history. I have done this in many ways, and think it is essential to my life. I never changed my birth certificate. While I was born in Ohio and cannot change the gender marker, I have also chosen to not to change the name. I want to respect my past and hold it as a part of my life that even while not the best of times it has made me the person I am today. I was named after my grandmother and great-grandmother. Two wonderful women whose own histories will always be connected to me: I never got to meet either of them but they live on in my blood and my name. I did change my name and am proud of the name I chose. But I could not bring myself to erase them from my past.

My mother once asked me what she should do with my pictures. I told her to keep them up and keep them visible in her albums. That is my history as much as it is hers and I cannot take that nor do I have the right to. Really I am still female and always will be, living as male does not erase this fact for me, it is hard for some to understand this. Many trans people wish to paint a new picture and I have found it is a disservice to my life to paint a new picture or rewrite my book. I have just added on to my painting and created a new chapter.

Because I never changed my history I get caught in situations where I confuse people and this in it self can me a learning tool to use on those who meet me. I had once said, when I was a girl scout… and I got a look that can only be described as utter confusion and this is a window of opportunity to use my history for discussion of what trans is and how it affects the lives of those who are gender variant.

I have found power and strength in my history and truly am proud of it. This is not the life for everyone and I know we each must chose our own ways of living but I hope this can open the eyes of some struggling to decide what to do about their own history. A new chapter was my choice. What will be yours?

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