I just wanted to share a video by journalist and activist Paris Lees that meant a lot to me:
This. This has to stop. I came out at a young age, full of piss and vinegar, thinking that I would never end up hiding who I am, or parts of myself, simply to feel desired, to feel loved. But love and desire made me stupid, and I did, in her words, end up being treated like people’s ‘dirty little secret’. Sometimes it was the fact we were dating at all – sometimes it was changing the way I looked and acted in public so that I would seem like a girl, even though it killed me. Worse, it would be changing the way I looked and acted in private, so that they could pretend they were with a girl.
So much of what we say to each other as trans people is what we would say to our younger selves. And so much of what we have to say applies to anyone who has every felt ‘othered’ by the society we live in. So I guess what I wish I could say to my younger self, and to anyone else out there who needs to hear it: it doesn’t matter how many times they say they love you, how good they can make you feel, how much they turn you on – if your gut is telling you that they’re ashamed to be with you, then you deserve a hell of a lot more. And the thing is? It’s out there, waiting for you.