Becoming Me: on the outside

I can’t help but wonder what it is other people see when they look at me.

Do they see a girl, trying to pretend she’s a boy?

Do they see a boy who looks like a girl?

Do they see some sort of freak, neither one nor the other?

Do they eventually learn to simply see me, whoever and whatever that is?

Do the people who call me “he” actually see the guy I am, or have they, by request, taught themselves to label as male that which they see as female?

Will what the world sees ever match what I see? Will what I see ever match what’s on the inside?

For every stranger that calls me “love”, another calls me “mate”. For every person who slips up and calls me “her” there’s another that calls me “he” as easy as breathing.

For everyone who refuses to accept me, there’s another who fights inwardly until they can understand.

For every time I refer automatically to myself with male or neutral pronouns, there’s a time when I still have to correct myself.

Every time I meet someone new, I wait for the moment when I need to correct them and hope they accept it.

Every time I step out of my door, a part of me wonders if this will be one of the daya where a stranger enacts emotional or physical violence on me.

Every time I meet a friend of someone who knows I’m trans, I want to ask: “did they tell you? Do you know? Were you warned? Briefed? Advised?” without my ok.

Every day I wonder who understands that me being open about being trans doesn’t preclude my right to choose who is told, and when , and how.

On the outside I mostly look calm, even as I fight, even as I correct, even as I out myself.
On the inside I am always a storm of questions and defensive expectations and preparations.

Accepting myself was merely a skirmish. Life, that’s the real battle.

And I wonder, on the inside – could anyone ever love the freak that is me?