Love is very subjective and everyone has their own take on what their idea of love is. But have you felt those butterflies flutter about in the pit of your stomach, as your crush walks past you, down the hallway? While simultaneously trying, in vain, to stay calm, of course. Well, I have and maybe you have too. Or not. Maybe you’ve had an entirely different experience of love. This is why I believe love is subjective although many of you may disagree with this idea.
Growing up queer has its own effect on a lot of things in your life, but love is an entirely unique experience. I have had my fair share of “‘falling in love.” Surprise! We actually do, in fact, crave being loved and admired by someone. I remember fawning over romcoms thinking I am just a moment away from making that scintillating eye contact with my special someone. Little did I know, falling in love, for me, would take a lot more than that.
Cis and trans experiences vastly vary as both grow up in different environments. While cis individuals have infinite representations in the mainstream media, there are hardly any trans love stories that we know about. So, despite being trans, for a long time, my understanding of love was very heteronormative. However, I don’t think I ever let this stark reality discourage me. My rather optimistic mind reassured me that I actually deserve to have a love story of my own.
I’ll be honest, though. Love has been hard for me. I constantly see people falling in love around me, every other day, while I, as a bystander, watch them giddy in love- in the hope that someday I will be among those couples.
Every time I have liked someone, things go great right up until I realize they were either ‘experimenting’ or merely getting over a disgruntled ex. When something like this happens recurrently, it makes you question a lot of things in life to a point where you begin questioning whether you deserve to be loved, at all.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that I don’t fit into the heteronormative idea of femininity, where only those born as female are considered ‘real’ women. Yet, I actually do expect someone to just like me for who I am. The sheer audacity of it often surprises people. But love is a basic human need, is it not?! And I crave it just like every other person out there. I know my journey to finding love is going to follow a bumpy road, but I have the audacity to believe there’s someone out there for everyone and I won’t give up until I meet my “maybe forever”.
Editor’s Note: As we celebrate the Intersectional Transgender Day of Visibility, we pay homage to all the women who strived to be woman enough, and all the men who strived to be man enough. Love is only one among the many challenges trans individuals have had to suffer through over decades of oppression. Even today, sex work constitutes a huge part of the trans-culture because none of us- the cis-het majority- wishes to employ them. This is not to undermine the nature of sex work, but to reinstate the limited choices and agency these wonderful human beings are subjected to. We are so caught up with the male and the female, we often forget the human aspects of love that are blind to binaries; kindness that is expansive and all-consuming; generosity that extends beyond those you love; gratefulness for our bodies doing their job; gratefulness for the feeling of being in love, without the fear of condemnation.
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