It’s the holidays, which means I’ve been thinking a lot. Even more so, having gotten into a fandom recently, which sounds funny and stupid, but sit tight.
I don’t get along with a large portion of my “family” (I use that term loosely) anymore. This has a lot to do with me being a LGBTQ individual and falling out of the Christian faith. I am a FtM (female to male) transgender person who is Panromantic and asexual. This is all kinds of ‘nope’ on the scale. I know what they think of me. I know what they say. I am not their son/brother/grandson/nephew. I am practically nobody to them. I’m a fucking stranger. I lived with them for only four months this past summer and it was a nightmare. It was like I wasn’t the same person. It was like they hated me. It was like . . . I was invisible.
That being said, I know it’s not hate hate. It feels like hate, it really does. But more or less it’s . . . confusion? Religion? Uncertainty? Maybe more. They don’t know what to do with the information. They don’t know how to act. And truth be told: that’s bullshit. They know how to act. It’s 2016, there’s more than enough information for them. I belong to a wonderful group at my local Q Center that provides services for LGBT and parents alike. They have ways. They just don’t want to bother. They don’t want to know me. They want to keep the old me. I’m still ex-legal name called. I’m still she/her. And I fear that’s all I’ll ever be to them. That poor, sick, hospital ridden disabled little girl.
One of my biggest hated statements from religious people is “love the sinner, hate the sin”. The amount of times I’ve heard: “we still love you both (I have a gay cousin), but that doesn’t necessarily we agree or accept with that you’re doing”. That’s total garbage. You don’t get to pick and choose the parts of a person to love, related or not. Not to bring religious text into this, since I’m basically speaking against it in light of my relatives, however it is important to note that the Bible states: Suppose someone claims to love God but hates a brother or sister. Then they are a liar. They don’t love their brother or sister, whom they have seen. So they can’t love God, whom they haven’t seen. – 1 John 4:20
I’ll let you sit on that one.
This is not to say, at all, that I don’t miss them. Any of them. It’s not like a bad relationship you just got out of in the last few months. This is 20+ years of my life with these people. It’s not that easy to forget , drop , cut ties and move along. I’ve tried for the last 7+ years of my transitioning. I’ve also tried to reason, help, and educate. All with failure. It’s natural for me to want to still have that . . . family. That sense of being loved and belonging. Even though I have met some wonderful people at my center who are my family. Even though I have a great boyfriend of 5 years who is my family. Even though I have an amazing cat who would do anything to help me, and me to him. It’s never the same. It will never be the same. And when the holidays come around, that just makes it all the more complicated.
I thought that I had paid my dues after this past summer. I had sworn off contact and was ready to move on. But like I said before, it’s the holidays. People always pop in and out randomly around this time of year. And for me, that makes it so very difficult to distinguish what’s okay and what’s not. My relationship with my relatives is nothing short of toxic. Growing up in a strict Christian home where Halloween was demonic and I had to sit in a dark, silent house every fucking October 31st, where sex isn’t talked about or educated on, and a whole lot more . . . well you get the general fix.
I attended thanksgiving dinner at my aunt’s house this November. I had gone back and forth for days before deciding to dive in. I was probably going to be hurt either way. Why I was doing this to myself, I’ll never know. But I went and nothing went wrong. You would think that’s awesome.
Here’s the thing, though. It was too good. It was everything I wanted back into my life. No fighting, no craziness, no stupid comments. Nothing. Not even when my grandmother came over for a few moments. Nothing. Was. Wrong. And I hadn’t spoken to anyone since the stupid whatever fight bullshit that happened back in June. Even after all of my couch hopping having to leave bad rooming situation after bad rooming situation. Even when I found myself (still) potentially homeless and not knowing where I would be. I vowed to never go back, and let me tell you. Living back in that house seemed better than my current situation of not knowing where I would be n two weeks. I didn’t waver. I didn’t crumble. Not until I went to dinner. They still don’t know what I’ve been going through the last almost 6 months. I haven’t had a stable place to live since August when I left visiting my boyfriend for the summer.
I wanted all of that back. I wanted to be best friends with my sister again. I wanted everything. I wanted love. I wanted acceptance. I wanted fun. I wanted a family. And I had it. For all of about seven hours. It was wonderful. It was everything I wanted.
Then the days following hit me. All of the good things I wanted. How amazing it felt. How complete I was. But on the backside, the photo. My mother had asked one of my cousins to take a picture of the four of us. Me, my sister, my mother and my father. I hadn’t noticed a damn thing of it until after that day. How . . . collected and okay I looked. How awkward and still everyone else was. I was so elated in that moment that there was a picture, regardless that. I didn’t notice anything else but the moment. I felt crushed. I had a total of eight people come to me one, two days later telling me about that photo. I can’t look at it anymore.
My mother is sending me Xmas gifts. I don’t know how she’s going to address it. I don’t know what she’s going to write on the package. I don’t know what anything will read. And it terrifies and hurts me.
I’ve recently gotten into a fandom of where there’s a couple characters to whom I share a lot of the same characteristics of. As a writer, that’s kind of important to me, though a lot of people find it so childish and dumb. But it helps a large portion of fans and writers and viewers alike. I think it’s really important to find yourself in things like that. It helps, it really does.
In the same instance, per this fandom, I’m reading a lengthy fic for it. That’s kind of what drove me to write this out even more. I had already planned on it, but I finished a particular chapter that had me really relating to not one, but both main characters.
For my own purposes, I’m not going to mention outright fandom names and such. I will, however, abbreviate the characters as to not get confusing.
KK is one of the characters I honestly didn’t click with right away, diving into the show itself and the fandom. He wasn’t an instant ‘yes!’ like the other main I instantly found myself to be a lot like. I don’t know where along the lines I had started to see myself more and more into this character, but I’m pretty sure it had to do a lot with the fan theories and his overall backstory that could be very soon revealed.
It’s a bit of a difference between my situation and that of KK’s, but it rings with me all the same true. KK has no family, he has no known parents, or anything of that nature. That is solely the fact that he is an orphan. Me, by no means is. However, the longing KK has for wanting to belong somewhere, to someone, to a group, to a family has me roped in. I understand full well all of the ideas, the theories, the stories, and the little hints from the writers and producers and acting itself. Nobody wants to feel like they have nothing. That they belong nowhere.
One of the first/main lines of KK’s when we meet him that kind of punched me in the face very recently was: “After getting booted from ____ I was kind of… lost.”
This entire year for me has been going from one boot to the other. Things gone wrong, nowhere to go. Feeling lost and hopeless. Having to go back to a place I swore I’d never go. Even after finding myself going to the center and having people there who genuinely cared and loved, it still wasn’t the same. I still felt lost. I still felt incomplete. I still felt like I was lacking family. And as much as I hate thinking about them so often and thinking about how they have behaved with me, around me, and what they say/think of me, it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss what we had. It’s human. It’s human to want, it’s human to grieve, it’s human to fall back.
KK has a “family” now, for all purposes of the show. He’s a part of something great, much like I find myself a part of something amazing in the LGBTQ community with everyone I have met this year. But it’s not the same, as I’ve already said. It won’t be the same throughout the show for KK, either. He doesn’t know who he is, where he’s been, and has never had that strong and secure connection with family before. I’ve had my connections up and down with everyone. But it was never secure. It was never strong outside of me being a sickly child. Everything was different with me. And it always was. It felt foreign, and it’s even worse now. Though I have a family . . . using the word stings. I’m not used to all the attention. The love, the hugging, the interest in who I am and what I like. It’s . . . it’s all new to me. It’s something I have to condition myself. That they actually want me around as me. Not as who they lived with for the last 20 years.
There’s a lot of fine differences, like I said, between myself and KK. But the fact still stands of family. Who do we really have? Can we really have what was lost? How can we move past the hurt? How can we learn to love again? How can we be a part of something amazing without aching? What can we do to better ourselves and grow? What is okay? What is not? Do we move on and let go, or do we hold tight and hope that something changes? To be honest, I hope the show plays more into KK’s life a little. Backstory, struggle, what he wants, what will happen, if he will change, if he isn’t who he thinks he really is . . . all of that and more. KK has suddenly become this complex and amazing character that at first, I totally glanced right over.
The next character I’m going to look into is LM. A character I glazed over mostly because I saw my boyfriend in him the most. But there’s a little trickle of a silver stream in him for me, too. And this happened to come around the more (again) fan theories came out and stumbling into a fanfic that was recommended to me. Per the last chapter I read, as well. I got a lot of thinking coming out.
LM is a bisexual character. Though not firmly foot down in canon, it’s seemingly to become very canon and the fandom, producers, writers, and voice actors took it very much in stride and may run with it. Even if it’s not blatant, it’s very much a giant reality everyone shares. Which, in today’s world and media is amazing in of itself.
So clearly, most of what I’m going to write about this is mostly coming from the fanfic itself, however the case still remains of the character himself.
In the very last chapter I read of this fanfic, there was a lot of resonation for me. Again, on both sides of the mains who are LM and KK. But since I already spoke of KK in canon, it leaked the same tone into the fic itself.
For LM in this particular chapter, it’s very much how I opened up this blog. His father doesn’t understand his sexuality and is very verbal about it. Having wanted LM to grow out of it, change, “pick a gender”, and the likes. It was super realistic writing, beautifully done and elo quent. Believable, relatable, and with tons of feeling. It wasn’t the fact of so much that LM’s father hated him, but couldn’t fully understand and see that there was so much more to LM than sexuality and orientation. This is what I opened up with on my own relatives.
There’s a lot more to my own relatives , like religion , that plays into their hate. Now, it was stated throughout the chapter that LM’s father didn’t particularly hate him, but LM just didn’t register that. It was hate to him. Much like how I feel with my own parents/relatives. It was more or less that of confusion, misunderstanding, and not seeing LM as a whole person. Not just his sexuality. That, I feel, is a large portion of my own situation as well as many others in the LGBTQ community with some obvious variations depending on your home life.
There’s a lot that parents/relatives don’t understand about the LGBTQ world around them. It’s “new” to them even though it really isn’t. LGBTQ ideals and persons are just more vivid now because it’s 2016. No more hiding. We’re here and we’re real and we deserve love and acceptance. Sadly, that isn’t the case for so many. I know how that feels. But you keep fighting and you find people you can connect with who love you for you. It will never be the same and you’ll want to continue trying to connect with family and educate them. That’s okay. But if they won’t turn around and you feel they never will, it’s hard pressed to say it’s time to turn away.
If only I took my own advice.
One of the lines in the chapter from LM was that of context in that him being Bi wasn’t at all the whole of who he was. It’s just a portion. He listed off all of the other things he was and added being Bi as a normalcy. That’s something so many parents and others don’t understand. Me? I love cats. Always have. My entire life has been about cats. Cats, gothic style, writing, drumming, obsessing over shows/movies . . . and you know what? All of that I still do! I’m still me, regardless of gender and sexual identity. Me being transgender is only a portion of who I am as a whole. And much like in the story, my relatives/parents are only seeing the transgender part and that’s basically all I am. It’s straw-vision and it’s damaging.
It might seem silly to you to compare a lot of my real life/real time situations to these characters and their show or fic verse situations. However, as a writer, it’s super important to me as I said before.
For example: if you watch a movie or read a book and you can’t find connections with the story or character(s), then what’s the point? The creator didn’t do their job as a creator. As a writer, a painter, a person of film, an actor . . . anything of that nature it is our job to make things relatable. To see yourself as this situation or person(s) and make you think. Make you feel. Make you relate. I think that in today’s world it’s seen as so silly or childish. When really, it’s more of a coping and a comfort. We can see ourselves as these characters, these people and these situations and find comfort. Even if it’s hurtful. Because you know you’re not alone and you can submerge yourself in the character, the movie, the book, the game, the fandom or wherever. It’s so important not only to us, but to creators.
KK and LM are only two of a whole messy bunch for me. There are many more from other creative content. One more itself even from the same verse as KK and LM. It reminds me that I’m not the only one who has these types of issues. Though fiction most of the time, yes, the content is real. You can sink your teeth into it and find reality. Realness in fiction is my favorite thing to see. Because if you can’t have some sense of reality in a fictional world, then it’s just fantasy. It’s not relatable. It’s lacking feeling. As a writer, I try to pour out as much of myself as I can into my content. Whether it’s characterization or setting. I do my best to make it real. Make it relatable. Make it worth your time.
There are days where I want to turn around and run backwards. I want that sense of family again without strain, worry, awkwardness, and wondering. I find myself lost. I find myself wondering what they’re doing now. What they’re thinking. Do they miss me? Do they think of me? I find myself sitting down in KK’s position and trying to dull away the ache. The longing.
There are days where I wonder if being trans is worth it. That maybe if I wasn’t, I’d still have a roof over my head for more than just a week at a time. That I would have that fun back. That they would see me as a human fucking person. And not only that but being trans and diving my feet into the world of drag. It’s completely nerve wracking knowing that at any moment anyone can find me and start a verbal war. Making me wonder if I’m valid. If all I ever am is just trans. If that’s all the person that I am, and nothing else. If they truly do hate me and aren’t just being stubborn, confused, and unsure. Those are days I find myself in LM’s head per the story.
There’s a lot of mixture for me. A lot of feeling, a lot of thinking, a lot of finding stories or characters. Pointing and nodding saying ‘yes, I can relate’. It’s hard to sort myself out a lot of times. But I find comfort as weird as it seems. As much as it hurts when I sit down, look at a character and go ‘that’s me’. Sometimes it’s painful, the ache in my chest when I realize how relatable I can get to someone. Whether it’s live action or 2D. And I can’t exactly say why it gets aching. Maybe it’s because I feel for that person or character and want to see things get better for them. Maybe it’s another reason. I can’t say for certain. But in a weird way, it always helps. Even after the breaking point.
I don’t know if I’ll ever make amends with anyone. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make amends with myself. I can’t say if anything will work out a week from now or ten years from now. If it does, I’ll be happy. If not, I’ll have to learn how to get along. It’s a tough spot and it’s one where I wish I knew what to do. I guarantee after the holidays I won’t hear a word from anyone until my birthday. Which is kind of bullshit. I’ve barely had a text back from anyone since Thanksgiving. I don’t get it, none of it makes any sense to me. And it’s all so terrifying and hurtful. I don’t ever know what to do and when I find myself on the healing path, I get hit in the face with a swing back door. Just about every single time, too.
There’s so much I have to do. Sand to sift through and rocks to toss aside. I have to stop picking up water in my hands and trying to run with it while everyone watches and laughs. It gets nobody anywhere and it makes my longing, my aching, and my self validation turn on itself.
However, no matter what goes on around me and what my head tells me, this much I do know. There’s always growing to do, especially with yourself. You can always learn, you can always stumble. You can always pick yourself back up. You can always lay down for a while and allow yourself to feel. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to cry. But if that’s all you do, then you’re stunting your growth. There are days where I wanna lay down and say ‘that’s it’. There are days where I wonder about the world without me here. What would happen. What would be said. Who would miss me, who wouldn’t. There are days where I think that there’s nothing more to do than to give into whatever my relatives/parents want. Erase myself, go back to them, go to church . . . give in. Maybe then it would fix everything.
Lying to yourself is a horrible thing to do. And I do it too often. When I pick myself back up, somehow I feel on top of the world, even if it’s just for a little while. I forget about what’s going on. I forget about them. I look at my friends. I look at my boyfriend. I look at my cat. I look at the family I do have, much like KK, and laugh. I live. I let myself flow. Even if it’s just for a little while, there’s always someone that can make me laugh harder than I have in a while. Always someone to grab me and tell me to cool my jets. Someone to look out for me. Someone to care. Someone to take on my moods. Someone to relax me. There’s always something, always someone. And more often than not, I forget that. And I think KK does, too.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next five to ten. But that’s going to have to be okay. I’m going to have to roll with the punches and the high fives. Every low, every high, every in between. Learn to grow, learn to love, and learn to live. Whatever happens between me and the relationship I have with the relatives is going to be whatever it is. Whatever I decide, whatever happens, whatever I can do. It’s not an easy road, the one I have ahead of me. There’s a lot that I have to do. There’s a lot I have to sort through and let go of. I don’t want to think about it, but sadly it’s the reality. If I want to heal, I have to start now. And it sucks, because I want them to accept and love me. I want them to know me. And I want that family and sense of belonging back.
It’s a tricky fine line. Between what you want and what you need.
And in my reality, in my fiction . . . I just hope that it’s a crossroads I can firmly decide upon.