What I Hope for as a Blind Transgender Guy
Growing up, there were two secrets about me I wanted no one to know. I had “weird feelings” — what I later understood was being transgender — and I was and am very visually impaired. Both were and are hard for some people to deal with. Both are visible to those around me. Both mean that people ask odd questions sometimes. ”What do you see?” ”How do you use that big stick?” ”Do you need help?” ”Can’t glasses fix it?” ”You’re faking, you can see some.”
The trans questions are often both more frustrating and more unkind. ”What’s it like?” ”What surgeries are you going to have?” ”Why did you choose to be this way?” ”Do you like guys or girls?” And the worst, ”You could just be a lesbian, you know that, right?”
I am not a girl, I was just born in a female body. While I am legally blind, I have some vision, and I can for the most part do things without help. If I need help, I will ask.
Sometimes I wonder what causes people to ask what is “wrong with me” more — the cane, or the fact I neither look straight or totally male or female by society’s standards. Hormones will change my appearance over time, but for now I am at the crossroads of gender. In a sense I am the same way when it comes to my vision; I am somewhere in between sighted and blind. I have enough sight to see a person, though not much else. I have fallen off curbs, walked into things, and all those experiences visually impaired and blind people know all too well.
I wish people would understand that my visual impairment hasn’t broken me. I still ride horses, still live my life, and still am me. Being transgender, being female to male or as I think of it a trans man, doesn’t make me a monster; it doesn’t mean I need to be fixed. It means I was unlucky enough to be born in the wrong gender, and I have to take hormones and have surgeries to get to the true me.
I am not someone who is going to hurt your kids, nor do I need to be prayed for. I am simply the blind guy standing on the street corner, who is hoping he will get through his day being gendered correctly, and not walk into any stop signs.