The First Letter

Cross-posted to my Ao3 account.

For my dearest parents, I suppose.

It has been a long while since this subject has been broached between us and I must stand back no longer for things need to change.

I am uncertain what you have become aware of nor what you may have inferred, given my recent behaviour – but I suppose an introduction of sorts is in order. I am ■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■, and I have only ever been your son. Though you only see of me what you wish and always have, I am not to fault for that.

I write to you not to ask you for succor nor acceptance. I simply ask for your respect and that you do not interfere with the life I have created for myself. That whom you knew before was nothing but an act I simply had to indulge in to keep the peace, and in doing so, I understand I may have caused irreparable harm. I have spent many nights awake with grief and guilt on the subject – so you must know that I will no longer heed the call of my former name for that is not and has never been me.

I do not know where life may take me from here, but please know that I will be forging every turn by hand on my own terms now and will lay each and every brick out with a devotion to only myself. You told me once I was blinded because of this notion that I could ever live as myself – that I was a silly child even in my twenties to consider that I was anything but a woman. That I was wrong, even. To that, I ask who are you to tell me who I am? I am a man of my own making and naught will tear that from me – not again. I am not a failure for the conditions of my existence and I will not suffer you telling me otherwise. I will not bear the burden of a crime I did not commit, for the sin of my own existence. For you to tell me you do not believe that I know myself better than anyone is quite frankly a cutting blow. 

The signs were clear and plenty throughout the years though you remained ignorant and I myself too fearful to ever bring it up. Perhaps were this an earlier life, I’d have listened to your instruction and been obedient. I would have accepted the fate of being nothing but an incubator for new life and I would have pretended to be happy, married to a man who loved me as a husband loves his wife and not as a man loves another man,  knowing full well I was made for anything but that. And it is that thought I cannot abide – I cannot be who you want me to be, and as such, I must divest myself from you, save one condition – acceptance. Were you to wholeheartedly accept me, maybe things could be different, but until you change, until this world changes, I fear that cannot happen.

I will play my part and play it well as society must be overhauled should I ever hope to live in peace. I will die for this cause if I must, knowing that others like me can see hope on a horizon where we are not ostracized for the circumstances of our birth, but instead praised for who we’ve made of ourselves.

If we may never meet again, know that I would rather die as the man I am than spend an eternity drowned in unerring misery as a husk of a person who could never reach their true potential. I will etch this into my very bones and move forward as only I can. My fate is my own and I will not falter.

Most Sincerely,

■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■, Your Son

Clemency of the Self

It’s a weird feeling when you’ve pulled out the final stick from who you claimed to be and the structure fell upon you. And you’re there, standing in the ruins, alone.

There’s a core to you, of course, but who really are you when you dust settles? After so long with something so false you tried to make yourself believe it, too… but it’s collapsed and there’s nothing of substance left of you. 

So you built it anew. There’s not much else you can do, right? You’ve got to reforge yourself into who you were meant to be, not the lie you relied on for decades to keep yourself safe.

But it’s terrifying, isn’t it? But in the destruction of everything you were, you can see a road far worse than the one you’ve chosen to walk. Don’t look back.

And when next you look in the mirror and still don’t recognise yourself, you’ll realize eventually, maybe, it’ll be okay. 

The pillars crumbled from within. Bit by bit, it ate away at you, unable to hold such a secret over everyone. It wasn’t the secret itself though, was it. It was how it made you feel.

How it made you come undone in all of the worst possible ways when you couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, sure that no one had ever felt as low as you did. 

Brick by brick, the gnawing sensation inside your ribcage that told you “this is wrong” ate away at you until there was nothing left. Nothing to turn to. No one to relate to you. So you bit the proverbial bullet lest you bite the literal one.

You threw off the cloth suppressing your true being and you told them. You told them the truth for once. You let all your carefully crafted masks shatter under the weight of being yourself.

And sure, maybe this wasn’t what you’d ever intended. Without those masks, could you really tell who you’re meant to be?

You’ve built yourself up into someone new; you’ve watched as the dust settled. You’re free now. Free to be who you want to be, who you need to be. You’re no longer bound by the shackles of others’ ideals of who you should be.

You’re you, after all. And that’s all you can be.