The day I made my decision, this song was playing in my head. The day I came out to my Mom, it played as we walked into the grocery store, just as she was asking me if I was relieved about having told her. These days, when I get stressed, nervous and scared about what the future holds for me as a trans person, it helps to calm me.
Yes, although it might not show, I’m scared as hell these days when I think of what life might be like when I’ve begun physical transition. Scared of being a target of violence. Scared of neglect if I’m ever in some kind of accident and hospital workers discover what they may see as a freak. Scared that someone somewhere will try to take my son away. Scared that I won’t be able to travel to certain places in the world. Scared that even going through US customs will become an ordeal. Scared that women will be afraid of me when they see me walking behind them at night. Scared that men will never really accept me as a guy. Scared that I’ll always be the token trans person. Scared that people will only ever see me as a trans person first, not just a person. Scared that no one will love me because they can’t handle a body that has mixed sexual markers. Scared that I won’t be able to love anyone because I’ll be scared to really open up to anyone.
But in those moments when I feel like I’m drowning and wonder if I’m fucked up and crazy for doing this, I think of San Francisco. I imagine driving, alone, on a highway and seeing a sign that says San Francisco. I see my foot on the gas pedal, my right hand on the bottom of the steering wheel, my left elbow hanging out of the window. I hear the song playing on the radio. I catch a glimpse of a guy in the rearview mirror and smile when I realise that it’s me. And this whole image makes me feel like everything’s going to be OK so I wrap it around myself at night to keep away the fear.