I’ve been reading Andrew Hodges’ masterful biography of Alan Turing and, amongst all the beautiful detail, one passage in particular caught my eye. It described so eloquently the feeling of trying to understand myself, as an adolescent, without any accurate outer model of transness to help, that it brought tears to my eyes.
Whenever someone says that coming out doesn’t matter, or that choosing to be stealth is an entirely private act, this is what I think of – and think that it has to change.
” The deprivation was not one of laws but of the spirit – a denial of identity. Heterosexual love, desire and marriage were hardly free from problems and anguish, but had all the novels and songs ever written to express them. The homosexual equivalents were relegated – if mentioned at all – to the comic, the criminal, the pathological, or the disgusting. To protect the self from these descriptions was hard enough, when they were embedded in the very words, the only words, that language offered. To keep the self a complete and consistent whole, rather than split into a facade of conformity, and a secret inner truth, was a miracle. To be able to develop the self, to increase its inner connections and to communicate with others – that was next to impossible.”