It’s impossible to know what you can bear until you bear what you can until you break. The crushing weight of being trans broke me long ago and my broken bones compressed under the weight into diamond. This feature of being trans is under-appreciated, but often remarked upon.
“I don’t know how you do it!” exclaim some cis people.
“You don’t know the half of it,” we mutter back.
Our diamond skeletons are exceptional in how they fascinate our cis kin. Every gaze that glides across and comes to linger in the prurient or hateful hollows of our bodies looks clear through us before reflecting back onto our observers. They see their own distorted reflections, not the sparkling strength forced upon us to live.
Sometimes we wonder how we got here.
We ask ourselves what types of humans we are while our humanity is questioned. We confront ourselves over and over again as we navigate the trade-offs around bodily autonomy, race, money, and class. We dive headfirst into unknown lives without knowing how deep they. We fight to stay alive in social systems that direct genocide towards us for making cis people feel uncomfortable in their gender roles and sexuality.
We carry all that, every waking moment, even if we’re not aware of it. Often we are.
It’s hard to ignore hateful comments that seep like black ooze through our screens and into our ears. It’s awkward silences and hemmings and hawings when we’re in a hurry, or waiting for our change, or saying hello. It’s calls and emails not returned. It’s being told over and over and over we’re not real.
But our diamonds shine, holding us up when we want to fall.