I couldn’t find myself in history. No one like me seemed to have ever existed.
— Leslie Feinberg, Transgender Warriors
There is a special violence in erasure. We have been edited out of everything. History forgets, religion abhors, culture ignores. We are a people with no path. We are a life with no story. We are a future with no past.
We chart a dangerous course, balanced on a tightrope over oblivion. One false move, and it’s not just death that awaits us. It’s invisibility. Buried in the wrong clothing. Jealous hands of relatives reaching, taking, possessing into nonexistence.
I am indebted to those who work to fill this gap. And yet, those who do find themselves in history find mostly convenient illusion.
Maybe there is also power in not finding. Maybe it is life itself that lies at this narrow intersection of void and multitude. Freedom emerges, a fragile vibrational chorus, produced in this tension of opposites.
I lost exactly nothing when I lost my first self. Havel havalim. A face, a name, memories–it all amounts to nothing, for I am more now, not less. Therefore there is addition in subtraction.
Transition is a spiritual discipline. We die many times before we die. Some spend their lives straitjacketed by path, past, story. Not I.
I couldn’t find myself anywhere. First I cried at the injustice. Then I smiled, and I opened this strange gift.