Technology is a fascinating thing. Thanks to the power of the internet, I’m not only able to put part of my life out in words for public scrutiny on a weekly basis, but I’m able to see who my audience is — at least, I can see what countries/states you’re coming from. It’s a regular reminder for me that the world is both vast and yet small enough to be this interconnected.
A couple of days ago I had a website stats first: I was able to see the search terms someone put in that led them to my little corner of the interwebs. The query? What do I do if I’m transmasculine. Well, honey, I don’t know if what you found here was helpful, or if you’ll ever be back, and that is a loaded and nuanced question if I ever saw one, but I’m going to give you the simplest answer I have:
You do what you need to do to stay alive.
If that means staying in the closet because you’re not in a safe space, then that’s okay. If it means tearing down the walls and being out and loud and proud, that’s okay, too. Educate yourself. Find your options. Find ways to be more comfortable in your skin and your brain. But mostly, stay alive. (Are you familiar with Kate Bornstein? She is fabulous, really into this idea of staying alive, has written some wonderful things about ways to do it, and has started a #stayalive hashtag movement on Twitter.)
Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you might believe about yourself, know that I believe that your life has value. And maybe in the grand scheme of things that doesn’t make a difference to you. But maybe it does, and that’s reason enough to say it. You, yes, you, my friend, are valuable. Your mere existence is revolutionary. People will try to tell you otherwise, but I promise they’re wrong.
I don’t believe that the “it gets better” rhetoric is actually helpful at all. Because sometimes, it doesn’t ever really get better to the extent that we want it to. But someday, even if things aren’t the best you can imagine, they might be better than they are now. And sometimes that hope makes holding on a little easier.
Hang in there, kiddo.