In Some Forgotten Dream

I walked away from an almost 30-year relationship with someone I called my best friend for many years. What hurts the most is that I will forever remember the last thing that people say to me as they are leaving.

When I met him, we were both enrolled at an all-boys boarding school; my father had forced me to attend because he thought that by doing so, his daughter could be molded into a son.

Our last conversation was about how he saw himself as the most successful person from our high school graduating class, and that nobody from our class was nearly as successful as him. I of course disagreed, citing that success cannot be measured based on arbitrary means, and if it could, one would need to have a multitude of factors to consider.

My accomplishments, of which I am immensely proud of, included becoming a Master Photographer, a published author, making the rank of Firefighter Paramedic Lieutenant, and retiring by age 40 without any debt, were all dismissed as insignificant during the course of an afternoon conversation. My accomplishments, he said, belonged to someone else; someone else’s lifetime in some forgotten dream, for when he knew me during our four years of boarding school, I was forced to pretend to be a boy, and that is how he would always see and associate with me.

The last three months of our relationship were the most difficult. He refused to see or acknowledge me as a female; perhaps it was the influence of his narcissistic friend who was always in his ear. I showed him pictures of me from when I was a child, which were definitive proof that, until I was sent away to boarding school, I was raised as a girl.

I went so far as to show him my medical record, showing independent evaluations by two gynecologists, confirming that I was born with female pseudohermaphroditism. Two DNA test results were also shown as evidence as a last-ditch effort to try and back up my claims of being female.

It is my opinion that those who complete college speak with the same monotone voice, as if everyone has developed a single homogenization of views and ideas. Modern education has taught people to see the world in a very binary, almost black and white manner. We categorize people through binary means; rich or poor, intelligent or stupid, successful or failure.

In modern society, people are either male or female, and this determination is based solely on ones birth genitalia. No consideration is ever given to the natural variations that sometimes occur in which someone might be born with genitals that do not fit the expectations of society, nor is gender identity given any validation whatsoever.

After three months of taking the brunt of his stress and anger, I knew that my relationship was at an end when he said that he was more successful than me, simply because he had graduated college, and I didn’t.

The image used in this piece is titled Mystified Heavy.

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