I am feeling pretty happy today.
I’ll be honest, that’s not something I expected to say on Mother’s Day. I’m not happy because it’s Mother’s Day, it’s more that I’m happy despite it.
My mother is alive and well. We don’t have a super amazing, super close relationship, but we never really have. Honestly, it’s as good as it’s been in years. She has nothing to do with the reason I expected to feel a bit down today. Well, that’s not quite right. I guess she has something to do with it, but in any way she could’ve controlled.
I’m transgender. I was born with a male sexual organs. Because of whatever reasons transgender people come to be, whether they be related to genetics or anything else, I was born a woman without female sexual organs. This has been something of a struggle, but I’ve finally gotten to a point in my life where I’ve left behind the biggest problems this has caused for me. My legal name and gender now match who I am. Even my body, while not looking exactly as I would wish, is a heck of a lot closer than it’s ever been. I feel very satisfied with how much my life has improved.
However, there is one thing that is likely to never change: I can’t give birth.
It’s not a problem unique to transgender women, I know. There are plenty of other women out there who, whether because of disease, genetics, or other issues just can’t get pregnant. I never really thought I’d count myself on the list of women upset by not being able to give birth. Way back when I still lived as someone I was not, I imagined female me living happily dating another woman, no kid in sight.
Then transition happened and for whatever reasons, maybe hormones or repressed feelings finally coming to light, I not only became solely attracted to men, but also got this really uncomfortable deep-down urge to have a child.
I know I’m playing into stereotypes, so I’ll make a quick disclaimer: this is just me. There are thousands and thousands of other trans women, and cis (non-trans) women, who never get any kind of ‘deep-down urge’ and who live happy, fulfilling lives without children. This is more of a “Lily” thing than a “transgender woman” thing, or even a “woman” thing.
Okay, back to the post.
This desire to have a kid has been getting worse over the last few months. It was barely there the first 8 months of my transition, but since then, I’ve gone a bit… baby crazy. I’ve been having dreams where I’m either pregnant or with a son/daughter of my own. There was one morning I woke up desperately happy from dreaming about taking care of my newborn, got really scared when I didn’t feel them nearby, and then had a horrible moment when reality sank in. This was then followed by me silently crying in bed for about 10 solid minutes.
I know how this sounds. It makes me a liiiiittle bit uncomfortable just to read about it now, to be completely honest. I think what makes it a little worse is that it’s come all at once, and that even when I fantasised being a woman when I was little, I never pictured myself with a kid. I just never thought of myself that way, so getting all these complicated feelings about it now is doubly overwhelming.
Colombia is a very progressive country.
Okay, that’s not quite true. Colombia is a very conservative, religious country. It is filled with bigots and machismo and disgusting attitudes about LGBT people.
It is also a country in which the Minister of Education is lesbian, and a transgender woman is part of the cabinet of the capital city’s mayor. It’s a country where most of hormone treatment is covered by your health care provider, and in which changing your legal name and gender is literally about as easy as changing your last name after getting married.
We’re a country that is living a couple centuries in the past as far as general culture goes (especially outside Bogotá, the capital,) but a few decades in the future as far as judicial hearings and established legal protections and rights of LGBT people go.
All this is to say: I can adopt a kid. I can get married to whoever I wanted to. It’s really neat. Things certainly could be a lot worse. Still, it’s hard to keep that in perspective.
It gets worse when I think beyond the baby-having bit. I also have massive insecurities about guys. I’m afraid I’ll never find a guy that will want to date me, never mind marry me. I’m too tall, too awkward, not pretty enough, I’ve got boobs too small, my voice is weird in the morning, etc etc. Then there’s the whole ‘having sex’ thing. Oh, and the fact that if they married me, I can’t get pregnant. Some guys also care a lot about having kids of their own.
I’m silently resigned to the fact no man will ever want to be with me, and I’ll never get to have anything resembling the family I dream of having.
I’m starting to get a bit down so I’ll stop here, but… yeah. Lots of complicated stuff tied to motherhood.
Anyway. Happy Mother’s Day to you if it applies. See you all again on Tuesday.