“What difference would it make?”
I do not know if it was an attempt to challenge me, with all the cis, adult pretension that that has to come to imply to me, or an attempt to make me feel better, recover me from trauma with a snapping fade-out of my slowly recovering and frozen mind-state.
The subject was estrogen.
The differences are manifold, psychologist, cis person, expert who doesn’t know the 101.
I am 5.3 and 98 pounds, brittle and covered in skin that screams when people touch it, gripped by helpless, hysterical laughter when I’m in danger and so weak that I can’t do five push-ups to elevate my prominent ribcage and visible collarbones above the surface of my bed. I am painted-nailed and pink-shirted with plainly nonexistent breasts, openly called by a name and pronouns I identify slightly more with than those thought of as male.
I am obviously, visibly trans, with men in dresses and concealed rapists and every other transmisogynic concept pressed into my back every moment that I’m outside, a fallen crown of the murdered names of people like me set below my forehead, the iron thing I pretend to be to persevere through pain in the midst of a lightning storm of murderous, deadly, darting contempt.
I am unpictured on my Fetlife account, momentarily hating my inadequately cis features in a rhythm of moments. I am told by my kindly, tactless, trying-not-to-be-bigoted father that I will look silly in a skirt until I get my treatment done. I can feel the nothingness where my breasts should be shoved into my chest when I so much as imagine wearing clothing that isn’t loose and layered.
I am pausing suddenly as I type this, smashing a fist into my thigh almost reflexively to put off thoughts of delicately whipping my skin away, an obscene magic trick with a flickering straight-razor and a toss of the hand, because I anthropomorphize objects and I want to feel this stubborn, infuriating thing shriek.
I am, dear psychologist, a poison factory. I am stained with slow-growing hair and broader shoulders than I’d like, roiling with trauma to make your skin blister and your blonde hair fall out. I have been in full swing for two years, winding down for two more, and the difference is just how long all those corpses inside my structure spend rotting and poisoned before it’s cleaned up, and what else in me wanders inside to die.