All our lives we search for community and a sense of belonging, for trans people this is especially true. All my life I never understood who I was or why I felt so different, but from Janet Mocks book Redefining Realness I felt a parallel in the emotions and feelings I’d experienced all my life, but didn’t have the language or education to place them. I though I found my community, I thought I would be whole, but I wasn’t and I’m not.
You see while I fall into these very particular identities these women hold (black, trans, women) there something missing a genuine connection. In don’t fit in with the girls who live within the stereotypical image of sex work and LGBT night life I am also not welcomed to join the other girls, the activists, and advocates “the ones who made it”. The harsh reality is I find better support and allies in cis straight people who don’t and can’t necessarily get it. I’m not sure why this is the case, maybe some see me as a chance to increase their diversity score and maybe others genuinely feel the want to be there for me. But I don’t understand why I don’t connect with girls like me. I don’t know why I lack a genuine connect with other trans people, there are two MAYBE three trans people in my life I feel truly close to. I feel as if I work so hard and am constantly attempting to network but I remain “that girl”
They say it’s lonely at the top but yet I still try to get there because the reality for me is its lonely at the bottom too and at the top at least I am comfortable and have everything I need. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’d rather sleep next to a $27,000 gown at night rather than a person. When I need my community those women are no where to be found. I am in this alone because people have no idea what it takes to be a visible trans woman of color and those who do seemingly exile me ms keep me at an arms length no matter what I do. I’m not good at begging never have been.
Before I met these women I though girls like me were sentenced to a lifetime of isolation, which I’ve been proved wrong there’s a strong community of trans women I just seem to be the one isolated.
I also though trans women of color were sentenced to a lifetime of being single but again I’ve been proved wrong I know is several trans women in relationships and happily dating and a few even getting married including Janet Mock herself. It’s just me. It’s not an issue amongst all trans women of color, I’m the anomaly, an anomaly within a marginalized group,the one who can’t seem to get it right. It’s an unimaginably lonely place.
Where are the girls like me??
As I continue to use the #girlslikeus I realize a more fitting hashtag is #girllikeme because I remain standing alone with nothing but my thoughts but continue to learn live and grow and remain I am thankful for an awakening of self identity even with the loneliest moments.
I don’t know why this social transition has taken such a toll on me. I’ve lost friends and family, and romantic partners and I seem to be excluded from the core group of trans women of color. I continue to find myself sitting at a table for one.