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We Are All Shirtless Now

August 01, 2010, 12:11 PM

Yes, well, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  I’m not really going to get into the reasons why, except to say that I guess I wasn’t really prepared for some of the demands of being a transgendered person in a big city like this.  I began my transition in a small, cozy little gay town, and though that time was definitely not without incident, there was always somewhere I could go, some queers I could see, to make me feel normal again, and I don’t really have that here yet, and it’s been a problem.  But I’ve been doing better lately, and I’ve missed writing this blog, so hopefully, you all haven’t forgotten me and are ready to read my ramblings once again.  So, here we go…

One of my favorite parts of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is when we hear about the magic Harry performed before he even knew he was a wizard.  He jumps onto the roof of his school, re-grows his hair, and, of course, who could forget the vanishing glass?  We are told that this sort of thing tends to happen around him and at the point we meet him, even Harry has bought into this idea of his aunt and uncle’s that he is simply odd.  In hindsight, it seems obvious, but how is a kid who doesn’t know magic even exists suppose to know he’s a wizard?

When I was a kid in the early nineties, I didn’t know what transpeople were, not many people did then.  I’d heard my father say something horrible about someone he worked with and it was only years later that I understood that that person had been trans.  It was probably lucky that I didn’t realize it then, because his story framed the person as mentally ill.  Gender was a blurry issue for me at the time.  There wasn’t too much delineation in my life in regards to that; I played sports and went to opera camp.  I wasn’t one of those transgendered people who “knew” way back when.  I hear that a lot:   “I knew I was a boy” or “I wondered why I didn’t have the right parts.”  I remember having some feelings like maybe I was different than other “girls,” but I had some “girly-girl” type friends that were always so feminine and perfect in that way, I think I was more curious as to how it was so easy for them to be like that.  To add to the confusion, their being that way made me kind of nervous and while I know now that gender and sexuality aren’t linked, it did tend to add to the confusion, especially since I had huge crushes on some of the boys in my class.  No, the only thing that always stuck in my mind, though I didn’t think anything of it at the time, was this recurring dream I used to have.  I don’t know how old I was, but I know I hadn’t turned eleven yet because we were still living in my old neighborhood.  We lived next to a family with six children, including five very athletic and rowdy boys.  My sister, who had a talent for baseball, had absolutely no problem holding her own with them.  I was always a little shy when they were around though, but in this dream, that changed.  I would be marching along our street, my then-strawberry blonde curls whipping in the wind, and I was shirtless, my flat pre-pubescent chest bore, but there was no reaction from the boys.  In real life, I probably would have hidden in my house for a week if they’d seen me that way, if only because I had learned some serious lessons in modesty from my mother.  But in this recurring dream, well, it seems corny to say it now, but I felt free to do that because I belonged, and I would wake up with that feeling.

I guess we all used to have dreams about flying motorbikes and shirtless freedom and it’s hard not to think you’ve missed the signs, to think that you should have known something from these clues you left for yourself.  But we dream every night, we’ve all had countless dreams, and these are the ones we remember, we choose to hold on to, and we use to bridge the connection between who begin as and who we’re going to be.  Harry was always a Wizard, and for a great deal of his life he was also the Boy Who Lived, but it was only after years of trials and tribulations did he become the one to vanquish Voldemort, as much a decision as a destiny, and, of course, as anyone whose read Deathly Hallows can tell you, that made all the difference.

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Blogger Bio


Name: Jon
LeakyName: abandonedboyjon
House: Hufflepuff

Jon is a filmmaker, writer, and transgender activist, who has been a Harry Potter fan since the age of eleven. In 1999, he had the honor of meeting Jo and still can't believe it happened. He is very much like Ron and often wishes he, too, had a Deluminator. His patronus is an eagle.

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