Joey’s Pink Glittery Rainbow Unicorn Diary I: “She”
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Intro: Since coming out as Joey (they/them/theirs) in August of 2020 and then coming out again as Joey (she/her/hers) after Easter of April 2021, I have felt an unimaginable mix of grief, pain, despair, joy, freedom, and integration. My spouse of nearly seven years and I have decided to separate for 4–6 months and then reevaluate. I never had a diary as a kid, because I was raised to believe it was far too “girly” for a kid born biologically male to have a diary. Diaries were for girls. Secretly, though, I desperately longed for the pink journals with the button snap covers and the glittery rainbow unicorns dancing across the binding. The following is a diary of my transition journey. This, for now, is my pink glittery rainbow unicorn diary.
Today, I woke up at the sound of the alarm. I typically am up and out of bed by 5:45 am or 5:30. Today, the alarm went off at 6:00 and I immediately texted my boss and told him I would need to stay home today. I’ll call my boss Jim. Jim is a tall and fabulously gay bald man with an epic mustache who is in recovery for addiction. Jim is the best boss/supervisor I have ever had. He’s kind and encouraging and has supported me since I came out in August to the staff as Joey, dropping my dead name and embracing my gender non-binary identity. I stayed home because my body is begging me to rest. Turns out, gender transition and marital separation stress you the fuck out! Who knew??
I have been boldly experimenting with eye make up of different varieties and different femme or gender neutral clothing since coming out. I have known since August, however, that it was never “non-binary” that suited me. I have always been a lady.
In this case, however, when I say “lady,” I think what sits on my shoulders is this reminder that I will never be a full-grown lady until I can allow my inner little girl to be exactly who she always wanted to be. Since coming out in August, I have told the trans and cis women in my life that I feel like a “twelve year old girl learning how to be in my body for the first time.” Since finally confessing to my loved ones that I am “she” and not “they” anymore, I feel even younger.
I never got the chance to really play with dolls like I wanted to or try on my mom’s lipstick. When I was a five year old, I remember stripping down to my Simba underwear and putting on a pair of my mom’s stockings around my pencil thin legs and shutting myself in the bathroom. Still not sure how my parents didn’t notice this. I sat in a tiny chair in a corner of the bathroom and draped a gold necklace around my pale neck and then wore my mom’s wrist watch and some of her bracelets. I clipped earrings to my ears and sat with my legs crossed, just feeling the stockings on my legs, noticing how the necklace hung over my tiny pink nipples. I felt in touch with something that day. Maybe we will call it truth, or something.
I remember feeling an intense wave of shame that day. I was far too young to experience that sudden blast of hot shame. It was the beginning of a long history attached to the demon of shame. Why shame? From such a young age, even five years old, I was being taught, trained, and conditioned to believe certain things about “boys,” “girls,” and their differences. The binary was deeply entrenched in my psyche.
Today, I put on eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, glitter, and lipstick as if my life depended on it. And, in a way, it does. I have sat around in my pajamas all day, eating calmer foods and drinking tea. The sandpaper stubble on my chin and cheeks is unsettling and, yet, I have some hope.
Tomorrow, I have a consultation with Planned Parenthood to begin my journey with hormone replacement therapy. Tomorrow, my spouse moves out of our house and into her parents’s home to begin our season of trial separation.
Life. Death. Gain. Loss. I sit in the tension between these things.
They say that without tension, a guitar string cannot make music. Whatever music is being made, I hope it is a lovely one, because it’s fucking unbearable to play it.
I’m scared and nervous and sad and joyful and in great pain about tomorrow. But today is all there is. I will sit with what is.
Thanks for being the diary I needed when I was a kid. We are gonna make it through this thing together.