Today was definitely the latter.
Well meaning people who have no clue, causing situations and hurt that they don’t even realise and cannot comprehend. Poor management and organisation, which creates impossible situations, that hurt people. Idle promises but guaranteed with no follow through. “the practice manager will call you, yes I can see it’s urgent, promise…” and once again, unsurprisingly, no call. Can’t access the system, get an appointment, order meds, nothing. Punishment for deigning to change an F to an M on a system.
I don’t exist to the NHS today. I don’t matter. Essential medications impossible to access because your bureaucracy says currently that I simply don’t exist. Good job I’m not sick. Bad joke. I’m on three daily life saving medications for heart, lungs, pancreas; it’s a bit important, it certainly does matter.
I go for my ‘booster’ shot for C19. People asking disrespectful and dangerous (not to mention illegal) questions in a public space, where answers can literally put me in danger. My own fear of eyes, judging, disapproving, condemning, threatening… and potential repercussions. Heart in my mouth once again, knowing how impossible the situation is. I’ve no power, no rights, just do as you’re told. I was never much good at that.
So I’m meek, quiet, apologetic, fawning and explaining, patiently. That’s a lie that feels hateful and humiliating, so I stand up straight, talk clearly aloud, explain just why this is invasive, illegal and dangerous for me. Blank stares. No understanding. No comprehension. Meaningless apologies whilst forcing me into a round hole when I’m clearly a very square peg.
Sitting in the time out line, waiting to be allowed to leave. Can’t wait to escape the site of my familiar mortification. Happened with both other jabs in February and May. Head hung, mood low, heart heavy. White hot flares of anger at that once again, I’m in this place of impossible existence. This is why so many transgender folk don’t make it. Literally die. The ‘no way out’ scenario. The ‘I can’t do this anymore’ reality. The ‘I can’t take this anymore’.
Some might say I’ve created this situation myself. Chosen this. I know that I don’t have a choice, it’s not a choice. It’s who I am. It’s either this, or an unbearable life pretending I’m someone I’m not until I die.
Damn you society for making people believe everything is simple and binary; yes or no, black or white, gay or straight, man or woman, able or disabled. Don’t you know yet that the rainbow of the human race is SO much more complex and beautiful than that?
No, you don’t. So you force people into boxes they don’t belong, force them to face up to your parochial, patriarchal rules, even when those rules are so very clearly broken.
I’m just me. I just want a quiet life. I’m sorry the me that I am causes you to examine your boxes, scratching your heads, bewildered. Actually I’m not sorry at all. I wish the boxes were all torn up and thrown away and we began to recognise that those boxes are limiting to all of us, every one of us. That we need a new system, an open, creative, beautiful system that suits the myriad of variations of humans. Not just the one binary ‘normal’, that simply isn’t, for so many of us.
So many of us have to face this, day in and day out. So much pain. So much humiliation. When all we really want is to live our lives quietly, with humility and love, kindness and fun, growth and happiness. Without hate and violence, without fear and objectification, without having to face these outdated, outmoded, unwarranted binary boxes that this systemic, structural, bullshit society imposes upon us all.
I am a man. Yes, I happen to be a transgender man. But even though I’ve filled in every humanly possible box ever for you, cow towing to your systems, doing everything that is required of me simply to exist… your systems are still broken, and I’m still humiliated and put in literal danger, time after time after time.
Look at me. Imagine me walking into the women’s ward for a scan that can easily be done in the ordinary scan department. Imagine the look on the receptionist’s face. Imagine how that felt to experience. Imagine how it felt to be told another time you couldn’t be on the women’s ward (which would be wrong anyway) because you still have a penis; literally getting my transness arse backwards. Imagine another time having trans clearly written in thick red marker on your hospital file, ‘so people don’t make mistakes’, for anyone to see (who has no reason to).
Imagine not going to the doctors, or hospital, avoiding them at all costs, rather than subject yourself to either transphobia or trans-ineptness that is nothing less than humiliating and always potentially dangerous. Imagine being sick and not asking for help, to avoid this.
I had covid19 back in March 2019. It was bad, I have COPD and my breathing was awful. My beloveds were fearful. But I avoided going into hospital, simply because I knew in my weakened state, I couldn’t fight it.
Imagine being punched walking across a Tesco carpark simply because of who you are.
Imagine being spat at in a public toilet, and feeling grateful it wasn’t something worse.
Imagine receiving derogatory pejoratives in public.
That’s what it’s like to be transgender in this current societal set up.
I just want to live freely the way I wish to, and to be fully, unashamedly, unapologetically me.
Isn’t that what we all want, ultimately? Is that really so very wrong?
No. The system is.
© DK Green 25/11/21