"Seriously Kris, You got to stop doing this to yourself. You're going to end up with broken ribs, or even worse..."
"Even worse what? Wearing a binder isn't going to kill me. You know, I came to live with you, because you weren't as judgemental as Mom and Dad." I immediately stripped my shirt as soon as we were in the safety of our house.
The look of disgust on Rob's face as he saw what my binder was doing to me; it killed me. His quiet sigh rang through my head like a bell through winter air. "What'd you do?"
I couldn't hold it in anymore, "It was killing me Rob," tears were streaming down my face, "Seeing those in the mirror everyday. I wasn't flat enough. I couldn't stand it. Just seeing them, I- I had to be flat."
"So you ordered a smaller binder." He shook his head. The disappointment was what killed me. He had been so accepting. So much more than our parents. But having a transgendered sister, now brother, was more than he bargained for.
The dysphoria had haunted me for weeks. I couldn't stand seeing my chest in the mirror every morning. Knowing I could take hormones to lower my voice and put hair on my face and work out to be a man's man, had no effect on the fact that those "things" still hung from my chest like two tumors. They taunted me in everything that I did. Everything that I wore.
"What size is this one?" He stood just looking.
"How'd you even get it on? You've gone from the recommended large, to a small."
"When you want it bad enough there are ways."
"Come on, lets get you out of that thing."
"Why didn't you say that the second we walked in the door?" He stood behind me and lifted from the back, as I lifted from the front. Folding the fabric over so it could slide over itself. After ten minutes of fighting with it we finally got it off.
"Sit down and rest. You better hope you didn't tear a muscle or break a rib. You know that can happen right?
I tried my hardest to sigh; the wince of pain was me saying "I know."
I never asked for this. And the people that ask me "Why" are the people I want to smack across the face. Just like You didn't ask to be born with brown hair, or in some cases born stupid, I didn't ask to be born a girl. But just because I was born a girl between the legs doesn't mean that I'm not a complete guy between the ears. My therapist calls it GID. A rather crappy term for transsexual, or transgendered, gender identity disorder is where you're born one gender, and feel like another. Most of the time it feels like you're trapped. Trapped in something that you had no say in, and you feel like there's no way out. No way to be set free.
However, i'm one of the lucky ones. "Diagnosed" at 14, I was lucky enough to see an Endocrinologist and get started on T, testosterone, by the time I was 16. Almost a year ago today. Unfortunately, our wallets have not been kind enough to fund top surgery, so the tumors on my chest persist.
I never was one to get desperate. Even when I was younger and first coming to terms with everything, I took my frustrations and fears out on what most people would consider healty things. I'd go for a run, or paint, but I'd never hurt myself. But lately the dysphoria is unbearable. And I'm doing things, like wearing too small of a binder, to bind my chest, and it's really hurting me. If I keep going, I've had my prescription for T threatened by not only my Endocrinologist, but my therapist and my family doctor. Unfortunately I'm the only one that realizes that would make things 100 time worse.
"Feeling better yet?" Rob came back behind me and started rubbing my back. He's my big brother. Luckily we have a relationship where I can be shirtless around him and he doesn't care. He takes care of me. Every thursday he gives me my shot, and does it perfectly so it never hurts. He moved out here with me to get me away from our parents. And now, he's my legal guardian. But more importantly, he's my best friend.
"You've got to stop doing this to yourself Kris. I want you around for as long as you can be. I can't have you hurting yourself."
"I know. Once again, I know."
"We have to tell your therapist about this. Maybe she knows somewhere we can get some type of financial help for top surgery. If that's the only way to solve it."
"I don't know. It feels like a lost cause. We can barely afford food and my T. There's no way we're going to find seven grand to pay for my surgery. Might as well just let it go."
"Let it go."