I’ve never been someone who dresses really girly. I’m always in leggings and a T-shirt; I don’t wear dresses or anything like that. I’ve never been that way. My mom called me her “prissy tomboy” growing up—not because I would play around in the dirt, and I would never wear dresses—but because I was prissy about bugs. I was never a girly girl. I tried to be, and it didn’t stick, it was not a thingI could do.
I have a cousin up north. She was telling me about her boyfriend, who is trans, and I had no idea what that meant. I was like, “He’s what?!” I didn’t even know what that meant. She explained it all to me, and I was like, “OK.” And later on I watched him get treated horribly, and it destroyed me. I thought, “Oh my gosh, he’s just trying to be who he wants to be, and he’s getting all this hatred for it!” It made me so angry—I get so fired up about this, it was so frustrating for me! After I met him I became really outspoken about LGBT rights.
Several months ago I had a revelation about myself and who I am. Being called a girl always felt really weird to me. I always just went with it, because I didn’t know … any better, I guess? And then I discovered the term “gender-fluid,” and I was like, “Oh my God!” It all clicked in my head:that’s what this is. I’m not 100% a woman, but I’m also not a man. I really debated about it, and I did a lot of research on it. It took a lot of self-discovery.
I’m also demi-sexual, which is a thing that nobody ever talks about. It’s basically like a form of asexuality where you only feel comfortable having a sexual relationship with somebody you’re very emotionally attached to, emotionally close to. That’s part of who I am, I’ve realized.
I’ve always been a huge LGBT ally, and now I’m kind of in the queer community, I guess. I was never afraid of my identity. . . well, maybe a little because of my grandparents. My parents are great. They tell me every day, “We don’t care who you love. We love you.” So I’m not worried about my parents at all, or my brother, or any of my friends. It’s my grandparents I’m really concerned about. They were really big supporters, when my ex-boyfriend and I were in the middle of a break up. I realized in that moment that I didn’t want to lose them. So I am kind of scared of that a little bit, because if I were to come out to them, I would lose them—I honestly believe that. At least at first. They might come to terms later. And they’re kind of my rocks—I don’t know if they realize it or not, but they are.
It’s a little scary to think that with saying three words, four words, I could lose people. That’s a scary scenario for me. I very secretly, in my Odyssey community, changed my gender from female to “unspecified.” On Facebook I set it up so that it says “they,” as in “so-and-so responded to their comment. . .” It’s very subtle little things that nobody would really pick upon. Just to see if it helped me. . . and it has! Being gender-fluid is a very weird feeling, because everyone makes it like, “Oh, you have to be this, or you have to be that.” But I’m not. I don’t fit into this box that you’ve created for me.
And then I read this book series my senior year of high school called The Mara Dyer Trilogy, by Michelle Hodkin, and it’s about this girl who has the power to kill people with her mind, and she falls in love with this guy who has the power to create life with his mind. In one of the books, he does something and she looks at him and she says,“This was the man I loved. A little bit messy,a little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster.Just like me.”
. . . Just like me.
– An Anonymous Story as told by Eleanor Trawick
This story originally appeared in Facing LGBTQ+ Pride in Muncie, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Muncie OUTreach in Muncie, Indiana.