Published on February 29th, 2012 | by Wild Gender
Trans Problems: Being a Teenage Transguy in a Small Town
I’ll start this article by assuming that not everybody reading this is from some big city where all the rich kids own BMW convertibles that they bought with Daddy’s money. I know that at least one of you out there lives in a poor city, or some small, close-knit town where being gay is only starting to become acceptable, partially because I know my girlfriend has read this at least twice since it was published.
Joking aside, I know how hard it is to feel comfortable in your own, queer skin without extra strange looks and whispers because of where you live. Residing in one of the poorest cities in America (no, not Detroit) and attending one of the best public high schools in the nation has ensured that I’ve learned a lot about small-towns, and have been surrounded with people who don’t understand anything LGBTQ, besides the L, G, and B.
One would assume that attending a school where every student has an ungodly high IQ score would possibly cancel out the fact that the average citizen here is rather uneducated in LGBTQ culture. Not that I place too much blame on the older adult community for any of my troubles, but I sure as all hell can blame their kids. I once had to explain to a whole classroom of my peers what the difference between being transgender and being a hermaphrodite was. I left class that day fuming with barely concealed gay-rage. Lady GaGa made it “cool” to be a hermaphrodite, and I still have to explain it to you?
But honestly, how is it that smart kids can’t grasp that I like male pronouns? Being a biological female who dresses like a boy doesn’t automatically make you a dyke, and being a female who likes girls doesn’t always make you a lesbian. But, what sheltered, small-town kids don’t understand is that sexuality, similar to everything else, isn’t black and white. It’s been a year since I came out to my school, and nobody seems to catch that the, “your boobs are so big that I could wear your bra as a hat!” jokes make me want to cut them.
For those who are reading, and those who live like this too, I want to tell you that it’s very, very easy to let jokes about your boobs, or (for the especially vulgar) your friend’s reminders that you don’t have a penis yet (and therefore they can’t suck it), get you in a rut.
I know that unknowingly offensive questions (that force a busting out of the trans-closet) make you feel like you don’t want to live on this planet anymore.
I know that those questions are the ones that you have yourself, when you think about surgery.
I know that the confused stares and the constant use of pronouns that don’t fit with who you are make you want to claw your hair out.
I know how exciting it is to meet the only other two other transpeople in town, and how much it sucks when your personalities clash too much to be friends.
I know what it’s like to go to your local LGBTQ support group and not find a single transperson.
I know what it’s like to not even have your gay friends understand you.
I’m not saying that all transpeople ever should live in a colony (crazy nudists), secluded from the rest of society. But, small-town civilizations could make an effort to accept their trans/queer populace, and then take it from there. I’m sick of hearing kids ask their friends if I’m a boy or a girl every time I walk by, or hearing the juiceheads call me a dyke.
I’m especially sick of hearing my only transguy friend talk about how scared he is to come out to his school, because he doesn’t want to get beaten up like Jayme Rodemeyer was for being bisexual.
To be misunderstood is one thing, but to be misunderstood for something so natural to you by the only people you’ve ever known will certainly drive you mad. Small-town transgender kids have it especially rough, considering that our community is so small and divided outside of these tiny places anyways. If we can’t even accept each other, how are we ever going to get acceptance from other people? Especially those uneducated in the LGBTQ lifestyle, like the small-town, suburban trash who still can’t figure out how lesbians have sex, and then proceed to ask me, even though I’m not a lesbian.
And the cycle starts again.