If I could have, I would have given you the body that you wanted.
So my mother told me, wincing sadly, in the first year of my transition. It was sweet of her to say; her intentions were good; and I didn’t miss the pained note of guilt, as if she ought to somehow have controlled this.
And yet the sentiment entirely missed the point. First, I have never blamed my mother for the fact that I’m trans, and I never would. God made me this way, and she had no say in the matter, or she surely would have made me different. Indeed she said as much: she wished she could have given me “the body that I wanted,” or as I would put it, the body that my mind and soul expected. In other words, she would have made me cisgender.
That’s not what I wanted from her, or from life, or what I’m hurt with her for. I wanted her to give me the right childhood. To recognize her trans son when he was still a boy, and to love him for it; to not wait for me to fight it out and tell her; to know somehow, and to raise me that way.
I do firmly believe I was created this way. I don’t regret being trans. It is my struggle, my uniqueness, my gift. Most importantly, it is my real life. This is the experience: to be gender-variant, to be different from other people, one of the strange ones, queer, to change my body to manifest my soul. We have always existed, and I think we are on purpose.
What’s not on purpose is the silence, violence, and rejection. That is human error. Deep in prayer on a recent occasion, I saw with clarity what it means that God made me like this. Like this: this body, this soul. Not what the world did with it. That wasn’t part of the plan.
I don’t want to be cisgender. I want to be loved.