There are times I wish I could go back and talk to my 9 year old self. I want to wrap the scrawny kid I was up in my arms and tell hir that life is not always easy but there are moments of incredible beauty and joy, no matter how things are going at the moment. I want to explain to hir that those feelings of gender confusion will become less confusing as ze ages. I want to tell hir that when ze turns 13 and starts to realise that whilst everyone else of hir sex is beginning to find boys attractive, it’s not a problem that ze still sees them as yucky and that ze doesn’t need to try and fit in, even though the urge is strong to do so. The feelings that ze has towards women are normal and natural and beautiful.
I want to tell my 9 year old self that life may not have taken the turn we wanted it to but we’re going to be stronger for it. That we’ll find amazing role models and comfort in just a few years. That it’s ok for books to be our solace, that our imaginations provide great comfort and it’s ok to feel that escape. I want to say that in four years time we’ll find a woman in an episode of a show called the X-Files who later becomes our strongest influence. That that woman (who later plays a female lead in a team of men) will be the reason that we get through adolescence and one day we’ll meet her and she’ll open up a part of us we long ago forgot.
I want to tell that scared child of all the wonderful opportunities to come, of the loves gained and lost, of the amazing chosen family that will be a safety net beyond all else. I want to tell hir about the woman we will meet thanks to that role model, who is a powerhouse of love and strength for women. I want to tell hir about the other strong role models and women who will inspire and keep us going and I want to tell hir not to give up. That no matter what ze goes through, there is good in the world.
If I had the chance, I wouldn’t go back and say ‘It gets better’, because ‘better’ is subjective and relevant to the here and now. But I would go back and say ‘just keep aiming forward, there are a lot of things that you have to look forward to, and it’s through the bad that we are able to appreciate the good.’