Staring at my imperfect reflection every morning was a struggle. Not because my face was covered in acne, with no clear space where compliment belonged, or bad dark circles longing for makeup to conceal. No, there was a much more complex reason. A hidden secret, one wanting to be shared with those surrounding me. Leaning closer towards the mirror, eyes inspected every feature on my pale face. Arched eyebrows, long thick black eyelashes, guarding emerald green eyes, and lips which represented dandelion stems. Short shaggy black hair took its own form, I didn’t mind, my hair; the part of my body that I controlled; I smiled. Looking further down, my face formed a tight knot. Hatred flowed through my veins. Hatred of myself and hatred to the hands who had created me. A scenario in my head was constant. A life where a smile never left my face, where criticizing myself was gone; a moment of being me, the person God had forgotten.
I am a boy. To you, and everyone else, my face and body; a girls’. People in the street, pierce me with judgemental eyes each day and my reply, a fake smile, expressing normality. Weird and confused, they think. ‘Something is wrong with her’, they mutter under harsh breaths; let me assure you, nothing is. I am a boy; simple. My body is decorated in feminine features, though it’s not me, never has been. People say this is a phase; but it’s not. Being in the body of a girl was a phase. It was one that was going to end any moment; accepting it was not an option. A memory emerges into my mind of my 5th birthday. Remembering how excited I was when mother handed me a present wrapped in pale red wrapping paper, felt like yesterday. A smile formed on my face, which was hers to keep. Tearing it got slower as the gift was in sight. The smile that came naturally, now painted on, caused me to disguise the sadness and anger underneath. Her fake smile, reflected mine. Is she happy? A shudder ran up my spine. Never had my eyes been exposed to something this unrealistic. Was mother trying to hint at me, that she wanted me to look like this? Could she not see my suffering? A common face known as torture appeared. He’s the one beside me, walking down the street. He has control, he is the one pulling the strings. This was not my life, no longer could I go on like this, closing my eyes, going, slowly, slipping, slipping out of my body, escaping, finally, free.
I am a boy. To you, and in the eyes of everyone else who no longer pierce me with judgement in the street. Torture doesn’t treat me like his puppet, or pull the strings; I do. No longer do I hesitate walking into the bathroom to stare deeply at my reflection. I no longer examine every imperfection or fault that my face holds. Instead, now, a smile only lingers. Looking past my face has no feeling of disgust. Finally, a new body, a new life of my own. One I don’t have to be constantly afraid of, or dream of. Hatred towards hands that created me has diminished, and I’m ready to start to feel again. To no longer have sadness surround me. This was never for nothing, never was there an ounce of remorse. Knowing my true fate was the easy part. Becoming who I was, on the outside, was difficult. Not one part of me ever questioned this, and not one part, ever will.
By Kimmi McArthur