Be Not Kind 
This is part 1 of an ongoing new series called ‘Be Not Kind’. Subscribe to keep up with it.
Be Not Kind 
When I came out, more than one person told me that, in some way, it felt as if the ‘old me’ had ‘died’. They didn’t express it in an intentionally mean way, but the point they were trying to make was that although I was clearly happier, the ‘old me’ had qualities that they had quite liked. And now that person was gone. Forever. They were dead. Metaphorically rotting in the ground, with metaphorical worms eating their metaphorical eyes and lips. But not in a mean way - it was just bittersweet for them.
My NHS appointed mandatory psychosexual therapist suggested to me that these members of my family and friends were, in a way, going through a sort of grieving period. She suggested that I give them time, and allow them to express their feelings of loss.
I decided not to do that. Telling a trans person (or any person) that it feels like they’ve died, is a demented thing to do. A completely self involved, selfish and melodramatic thing to do. Because usually, that trans person is standing right there in front of you - alive. More alive than they’ve ever been. Not dead at all, just expressing themselves a little differently. A little more openly.
You know in A Christmas Carol, when Scrooge is shown his own funeral, and everyone is straight up dissing him behind his dead ass? Well, if it’s true that I ‘died’ when I came out, I suppose I also know what that feels like. Unlike most people, who just go straight to hell when they die, I had an opportunity to see my own family and friends grieve for me, and it turns out - it was entirely embarrassing.
For starters, they didn’t even have a funeral. Funerals are an important part of the grieving process. They quite literally put a lid on the trauma, and allow families and friends to separate it out in their mind and move on. I thought at the very least I’d get a funeral when I died. I know there technically wasn’t a body, but that doesn’t matter - soldiers and missing people often have their coffins filled with bricks, surely I could have been given the same honour?
If the old me ‘died’ then why wasn’t everyone sobbing? No one cried, or did a reading of a shitty poem. There was no vicar pretending he knew me, or a wake with a chicken nugget buffet. Mainly people just sort of avoided talking to me about it or stopped inviting me to things. The point I’m trying to make is, when I actually kick the bucket, my family and friends had better step their pussy up and do my memory justice, or else I will be haunting them. And not Victorian style, sitting on the end of their bed in a white dress - I’m talking some real dangerous poltergeist shit. I’m gonna throw a washing machine.
Yes, sometimes the revelation of a loved one coming out can be a shock - that’s sort of the point. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be a ‘coming out’ it’d just be a ‘coming’ and that doesn’t sound right at all. But if you go ahead and compare your supposed loved one to ‘being dead’ then don’t act surprised when they start acting that way.
I took that approach with a lot of the people in my life who couldn’t handle it. Oh, I’m dead am I? Well, then you’re gonna have some real trouble getting in contact with me - hope you’ve got a ouija board.
My impression of the whole process was that I was giving people more of myself, not less. But inevitably, there were definitely parts of myself I left behind. Lame parts. Parts I will never miss. Parts that are sad, and unconfident, and suck. Frankly, I question the judgment of anyone who could miss that. You’ve got terrible taste.
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