I had always occupied an “androgynous body” since I was very young, the way people gendered me was oddly unpredictable. Sometimes I would be greeted as a boy, “hello sir”, but after I spoke or my original name was presented, the person would apologize profusely for their previous presumption. Each time I would calm them down and tell them it was alright, and that I was sorry I confused them. Bathrooms and locker rooms were terrible, I used the bathroom like three times in middle school. Even if I really had to pee, I would hold it in because I feared the double-takes, the nasty looks and the sny remarks. One time in a public restroom, a grown woman told me that “I was too old to use the washroom with my mother”, then I told her I was a girl, and she said some along the lines of “You should dress more like a girl, I thought you were a pervert”. The first time we had to use the middle school locker room to change for P.E, I ran out of the gym crying because I could not bring myself to enter that room.
Not only is my gender non-normative, I also grew up in an all asian household. Both of my grandparents were able to escape poverty only because they worked really, really hard to get to America. My grandpa, a primary caretaker of mine, stressed the importance of school work (especially math and science), and devalued social interaction and “non intellectual” hobbies. My grandmother was never home, which I later found out was because my grandpa was abusive to her.
My grand-aunt would also take care of me, she dressed me up like a dolly, which I dreaded, and took me to church every sunday. She also told me that I had to kneeling properly, or I did not love god, and if I did not love god, I would go to hell.
Going outside to play was not safe (my aunt told me that I would get murdered or abducted if I went outside) and “non intellectual” hobbies were seen as a unnecessarily indulgent usage of time. As a result, I had no social skills, feared a lot of things, and never really experienced much joy.
In high school, I was introduced to transgender concepts. Including the concept of being non-binary, this new gender option was described to me as “not identifying as a girl or a boy”/ “not being able to perceive your own gender”. And I thought about it hard, and I was like well I don’t really identify with the “girl” concept or the “boy” concept, I just exist.
One of my closest friends growing up, another transgender person of color and social outcast, told me a detailed plan on how he wanted to murder and rape people. I hate him so much, and it erks me that he was my friend for so long.
I dated this girl who was gay and asian, one of the first people who I actually felt like their embodiment was similar to mine.
She was constantly suicidal. She was in and out of the psych ward so many times that they wanted to send her out of state to a bigger institution. She took full bottles of pills, she tried to hang herself with shoelaces, she broke her fist punching a wall. And ultimately, nothing I said or did changed anything in the long term.
I went to a transgender health conference, hundreds of people were there, but the asian gathering at the event only had about 15 people there. This feels scary to know that there aren’t many people that truly understand my experience.
I don’t think I have ever meet a queer person without a mental illness. I am only twenty years old, and I have meet five different queer people with borderline personality disorder.
I constantly worry that I will never be able to form actually meaningful, none terrifying close relationships. I have issues that are structurally enforced, and I often feel alone.