Yes, that’s right. I can hear you laughing. I can feel you staring. I see the double takes. I know what you’re thinking. “What is it!?” I think at some point someone probably laughed at you, too. Maybe you’re overweight, but you’re at the gym. Kudos! You’re doing what you can to fix what you perceive as wrong with your body. Maybe you’re stressed and the gym is your end-of-the-day wind down. It’s mine, too – I’m working out. I’m building muscle. Oh…and I’m using testosterone. Just doing the things that I need to do to ensure my mental and physical health.
We’re all insecure about ourselves. And I understand that it’s sometimes easier to laugh at the person that has it “worse” than you… it’s cathartic. It makes you feel better. I’ve been there. I’ve been that bully. We’ve all been that bully. And who am I to you anyway? Some stranger in the locker room. I’m that 6-foot-tall awkward almost-30-something somewhere between male and female. You don’t think I belong. You’re right. I don’t belong. I want to be in the guys room, where I feel like I belong. But the fact of the matter is right now, my biology doesn’t agree with us. And there are some people that think people like me should use our biologically-assigned bathrooms or locker rooms. There are lawmakers that say this is where I belong and where I will always belong and no matter how much muscle and facial hair or how deep my voice, I should bare all here.
So as long as I’m here, I’m going to take a moment to maybe let you see things from my side.
I was bullied – probably by ladies just like you. I’d like to think that those years made me a stronger man. I’d like to think we all eventually grow out of that hurtful, judgmental stage, but I know that’s not true. One day I’m going to have kids..and no matter how “cool” and “popular” they are, someone will feel like they need to tear him/her down to make themselves “stronger”. I’m not afraid of that.
I’m afraid they’ll listen. I’m afraid that one day, someone like you will make my little boy feel like he can’t be a ballerina or or even just a gentleman…or make my little girl feel like she can’t be a football player instead of just dating one. I’m scared of the people out there that might make her feel like she’s giving into a male-dominated society if she really does want to grow up to be a housewife, or the ones that will tell my son he’s a rapist by virtue of his genitalia alone. I’m scared that those words that I work so hard to make sure fall onto deaf ears will one day find a place in the heart of a sweet, innocent child. And you should, too. You should worry that you will limit your child because you make her believe that she needs a man that will pamper her, or that your son will think that making his life with a woman that makes more than him should emasculate him in some way.
The world is full of people like us. People that were torn down by someone “bigger” than us. What the world needs more of is the people that will build themselves back up out of that destruction and be a force of good instead of breaking others down so they’re not broken alone. You’re a better person that whispers you don’t think I notice. You’re a better person than giggles you don’t think I hear.
But to answer your question…. the “what is it!?” It is Tyler. I was born female. I’ve been using testosterone. I don’t belong here. But I don’t belong in the men’s room just yet either. And to be honest, I’m scared to leave this locker room. I’ve been a woman all my life. I know what to expect here. It’s familiar, if not comfortable. Like your favorite pair of jeans that’s a little too small, but you’re too attached to get rid of. All I want is a place to change into my gym clothes and work out. That’s it.
Until Next Time,