“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene II
It’s been two years since I came out as transgender and chose the name Bryan John. It wasn’t an easy decision to come out or too decide on a name for myself one that would represent me, but represent whom I saw myself as and who I knew myself too be. It also gave myself the personal challenge that I knew I needed in order too see this thru and too get me thru all the battles I was going too face. The discrimination, the physical demand with going on HRT, and the mental.
It’s not that I didn’t like my name and its nothing to do with me not liking women, I have never felt, looked or identified within the feminine spectrum. Nothing has changed about me other than my gender identity and expression I am really the same person.
Telling my first person that I was transgender that was easy, telling my best friend and at the time my boss was one of the easiest things. I was in an environment where this could be handled in the best way it could be.
However when I decided to take on the name Bryan John and more importantly I knew off the bat I was going to keep my last name regardless. I did however make the decision that I would name myself after my Dad. Not something I took lightly because it meant something. Especially after my Dad getting sick and passing away from a 9/11 illness in 2007. I struggled with not wanting to erase him from any part of my life.
I also knew what I was about to under go with transition that I need to call in some of the very strength my Dad had, but be handled accountable for who I was and what I was about too undergo.
I hold myself to a very high standard, one my Dad would have held me too as person and as a man. The bar was set by me…too do nothing less than what he would have done or would have expected me to do.
Now two years later it’s really hard for me too hear people not use my name or my preferred gender pronoun (PGP) regardless how often you see me, or talk to me, speak with me on Facebook. This is who I am and this is who I continue too be, I am not going back and going back is not an option for me. It however hurts more than you know if you do it…regardless of the intention or not. Ignorance or malicious it still hurts, and we don’t need to have a whole conversation on it. It a behavior that needs to be corrected and you need to at least make the attempt. It is one of the most painful things that can be avoided if you just make the attempt. It doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes it means that you need to try, reprogram your brain, and think before you speak. Those words do hurt…female pronouns and my birth name are the most painful thing you could ever do too me.
You would think after the past three years nothing would surprise me about a little church on Clove Road in Staten Island that I would know what to expect. The truth is no matter how strong I have become, and how much I know that those people and that deamination of the church will NOT accept me or that I am TRANSGENDER and I am BISEXUAL.
Every year that invite me too they’re little live nativity and their Christmas Eve service. I go with the expectation that may just maybe things will get better and they will learn to accept me. Last night I was once against disappointed and let down, but more than anything I was hurt.
For once I wasn’t hurt by the lead Pastor, for once him and I had a conversation one that made me believe that maybe things are going too work out between us. I was really happy about it, him and I have had or share of complete blowouts toward each other.
However it was the people who just said “hey you” “how’s it going you” or “what you been up too”. I can deal with the non specific conversation because its just not going too happen. However to be introduced to a stranger as “Rose” and than “well actually I don’t know what you go by these days” “I knew her as Rose, but she thinks she is a man” that hurts more than anything…hurt enough too cry into the shoulder of a man who himself has no idea how to handle what he is witnessing before his eyes.
It hasn’t called me Bryan either but he hasn’t gone as far too hurt me or too make me feel unsafe and not cared about. However he has NEVER did what happened to me last night. He mentioned a friend of his Eric Lovett and part of his story, one that isn’t close to mine but very similar. However it explains part of it aren’t and parts of it are, but it shows how I need to go about this conversation. The choice is do I engage here…or do I just leave it alone.
The face is I have no intention to go back too Evangelical Christianity, but I would like to be at least friends with these people and let me see that their is nothing wrong with being LGBT, I am still me and if you want to invite me too things this is who you get. Bryan will show up but that who you get.
It is unseen what I will do about Pastor Eddie, Jack or my relationship with Eric Lovett, but I am not going to accept the malicious and lack of acceptance by certain people.