Will you accept me as a human being?

Author: Amir Stein (translated by Yanir Dekel for A Wider Bridge)
Source: WDG
Published: January 4, 2016

Amir Stein, a transgender man, is sick of people prying in his private parts and asking intimate questions as if his feelings don’t matter; These days he even finds it hard to get out of bed.

Imagine the following situation: a wedding hall in Bnei Brak, a soldier in a green uniform enters the hall through the women’s section and goes over to give the bride a big hug. The bride’s mother-in-law screams from the top of her lungs on the other side of the hall – ‘a guy is hugging the bride, a guy is hugging the bride!’

Then it becomes quiet.

Suddenly, thirty Orthodox girls burst out laughing. The mother-in-law rubs her eyes in astonishment and rushes toward me, the prodigal guy who hugged her bride. And I, with a sweet smile, explain to her that I studied in the same [all-girl] seminar with the bride.

This is my life, more or less. People stare at me on the street, at the movies, at the mall, at school. Gay men hit on me and then regret it. Straight people send me messages on Facebook, then get confused. And rude people ask me questions that make me want to withdraw and disappear into my room forever.

Sometimes my extreme reaction, apparently, to questions and events makes people raise an eyebrow questioningly: are you at peace with yourself?

Are you at peace with the fact that you pee? Are you sure?? So will it bother you if a stranger, whom you don’t know, stops you in the street to ask you when was the last time you peed? Slap! You’d slap them! “But why are you so extreme? They were just curious.”

So here. My time has come to take off my clothes. It seems, anyway, that too many people wonder about my genitalia , and it turns out that nobody taught them that it is impolite, even rude, to turn to a stranger with that question. Apparently they’re just ‘curious’ and ‘don’t mean’ harm. And my anger seems really not justified.

I’m Amir and I’m a female to male transgender person. I don’t hide it. I think that in the twenty-first century it should be very clear that vagina is female and penis is male. So Female to Male means I don’t want to be a woman. So why ask me all these questions?

Over the past week, I’ve been much more in bed than going out. It’s hard to wake up in the morning and function like a normal human being when your inbox is full of messages like this. It’s hard to go to school as if nothing had happened. I just want to take off my clothes and stand in a cage so that ‘normal’ people will be able to look and examine me and the change I go through. After all, the attitude toward me is already that I’m a piece of meat that goes through a very intriguing process and therefore you don’t have to consider my feelings. Right?

All I want in this world is for this endless prying to end. I want to be Amir-Miri and not a social experiment. Will you accept me as a human being?