So I have to move out my apartment due to breaking up with my ex. Which is great! it's great because though we get along and we will always be friends, we need different things from our partners that neither of us are going to get. I am packing all my junk, and realizing I have way too much. As I pack though I found tons of pictures of me from what I call the dark ages. The Dark ages were the period of time after high school but before college, a whole six years for me, in which I went back into the closet and suffered a period of self harm and also a mental break down. I survived through a period of sever depression that I didn't even realize I was going though until I was lying on my bed with a butcher knife. I realized how dark I'd gotten I vowed to never ever let it get that bad ever again.
I feel like if I don't share this part of my life than I'm not being straight with people when I say life gets better. This part of my life that led me to who I am today. This time of my life that made me realize that nothing matters if you can't find that happiness in yourself. That there is nothing selfish in transitioning, but its wicked selfish to kill yourself. I say that because of the potential each of us has that is wasted when cut short. I know the insanity of fear and the desperation that comes along with it. I also know that taking your own life in your hands can be the most powerful and freeing feeling in the world and there has never been any grater feeling in my life than that gift. It was a gift I earned by staying alive despite the pain along the way.
As I Sit in my bedroom packing all of my belongings, trying to breathe as this cold ravages me, I cannot help but be excited for the road ahead of me. I am terrified and yet so emboldened by the fear that I have this duplicitous euphoria. Today is May 27, 2016 and I am Benjamin Crowley twenty five nearly twenty six year old black transgender man living in the United States at time feels terrifying and electric at the same time.
Terrifying because as I grow older race, which had never been a problem for me and mine, is becoming an odd affront to society. Actions that others take for granted I never previously would have thought were racially motivated have become a stark raw truth to be being black in America. I feel nervous as I transition that people will interpret me differently because of the projection of my identity into a public spotlight. This however is at the back of my mind as I sort through my things.
At the fore front is the power held in the words, “I am enough.”
I am enough. Similar words blazed though my head four years ago nearly to this day as I worked a warehouse job slaving into the night earning more money than I knew what to do with. I had no kids no titles and no self-worth. I had let others dictate to me what my future held and in the stagnant space between their idolization of the hardworking young black woman whom earned her keep I found myself in a great state of melancholy.
What does it mean when you have everything you could materialistically want and are still unhappy?
I weighed 150 lbs. and had kinky over processed blond hair, a nice body and a sad smile. I hated myself. The person they all knew, who wore punk make up and listened to green day… she was a lie. She was only happy when it rained, hated bras and wore heels in a defiant streak of masochism. It wasn’t until she faced self-demolition did she realize that what everyone though she was wasn’t her at all.
In fact she wasn’t even a she. Never in her head did she see herself as a ‘She’. In her head her self-reference was always ‘I’ and when it ventured to the dangerous gendered lands of pronouns she, realized, had always been a he. So where was she now? Hiding in conformity because she was scared of losing everything she had. But she was already loosing…
This path she was one would never make her happy. So he cut off all his hair. Stopped wearing make-up and heels. Stopped bleaching his hair. Stopped starving himself to be pretty and started loving himself a bit more every day.
Started college. Manically picked out masculine clothes. Introduced himself as Ben. Learned self-love and proudly thinks, “I am enough.”
Thank you everyone again for you viewership.