This post is PART 31 in a guest blogger series following author Rachael's transition from an A.M.A.B (Assigned Male at Birth) individual to that of a self-identified trans woman.
If you are just discovering Queer as me, start the story from the beginning here.
I awoke to my roommate’s voice yelling into his cell phone out in the common area. I could tell that it was about that place he was trying to get into. That’s how loud he was. Whew, remind me never to get on his bad side. I got up and peeked around the edge of our door and could see him slamming the cell phone back down on the counter. He then picked up his last remaining cigarette, crushing the empty package in his shaking hand and muttering to himself banged his way out into the hallway. I quickly ran to the nurse’s station to ask to sign out.
They had great news.
Wondrous news in fact.
It looked like I’d would probably be discharged later that day.
I was too shocked to say anything, and so the nurse carried on. I wasn’t allowed to leave until I was seen by the doctor, and so my request was denied. I was stunned, I didn’t think that I would be released until the next week at the earliest. I politely asked what time my next appointment with the doctor would be. They said that he would be in at his usual time around ten or so. It was only seven in the morning. Three hours until possible freedom. I walked slowly back to my room and sat on the edge of the bed.
I wasn’t expecting to be released yet. I know, I know, I should have been jumping for joy, but I hadn’t even finished exploring the recent rapid changes in my thought process. So I just sat there, and would have probably stayed right there for hours if not for my very visually upset roommate hadn’t taken just that moment to come banging on to the floor.
I could hear his angry footsteps, more like foot stomps coming toward our door, then his heavy breathing on the other side. I waited, the door moved slowly, at least until he could tell that I was awake. He looked hard at me, then sighed and then dropped on to his bed, turning away from me. I wasn’t sure if I should ask him, but I've always having the desire to help. It's probably tattooed into my DNA, so foolishly I asked if he wanted to talk. He grunted, and then pulled his pillow over his head.
Rolling my eyes, I thought well at least I tried. Then I jumped as he threw his pillow against the wall beside him. He turned to me and angrily asked if I had any money I could borrow him. I explained coolly that he already knew that answer. I had no access to my funds. As he went to open his mouth, I asked him that even if I did, how I would be able to trust him to pay me back. He smiled, then sighed. He understood that especially in this place that it was hard to trust anybody. But he was desperate, He had until the end of the day to come up with the two hundred and fifty, or he would lose his apartment. I sighed now. I knew that I got paid today, but since I still wasn’t sure if it was certain that I would be leaving today I said nothing. I told him that I wish I could help. I understood, but he interrupted me by storming out of the room muttering.
I was about to get up to follow him when one of the nurses came in and said that the doctor was early and would like to meet with me now if that was OK? I jumped up and said absolutely let’s go. This time the nurse took me through the main doors to a different office. The doctor was alone. He asked if I had thought about what he said.
I said yes, that I felt I had started to realize that I might be hasty in wanting to die.
He smiled. He told me that no doctor can truly stop a person from committing suicide, but that if I thought I could hold off on leaving this life in until I learned more about being queer and more about that type of lifestyle commitment, he would sign off on releasing me today. I was a little bit tentative, but I knew that I was different then when I came in and that he had given me much to think about. So I said yes. I believe that I could learn to not hate myself so much and educate myself on living an authentic life as a queer person.
Whether or not I was Trans or just gay, I would try to accept this new reality. He said well, you can pick up your stuff and leave within the hour. I was relived. I knew that I worked tomorrow and I was itching to get out. He told me that the social worker would be contacting me in the next few weeks to see how things were progressing on the Trans front, if that was the path I believed was my reality. I thanked him for helping me learn more about myself. He smiled and let me out to go talk to the head nurse.
Soon I would be free. I was so happy, I talked to the nurse and got my clothes and other stuff. I went back into my old room to change, and was startled to find my roommate in tears. I quietly started to get ready to go. As I was getting ready to walk out of the room, I turned to him and said that I’m being released, he didn’t move. I went back to the front desk, and started to sign paperwork. I had to sign that I would make sure that I continued to see various councilors, and that if I had suicidal thoughts that I would call someone, a helpline, or come back here.
I decided then and there that I would try harder to understand others, because I knew what it was like when you felt you had nothing. That thought, as well as others allowed me to go to an ATM and withdraw the money my roommate asked for to help him get his place. I quickly went back to the mental health floor a few minutes later with an envelope full of cash, but I found out that my roommate was in a session, so I left it with a nurse and my phone number for him to call me when he got the place.
I left the hospital, so much happier than when I went in.
Weeks later after a dozen or so sessions with my queer councilor at Calgary Outlink I did finally come to the realization that I am truly Tans. Surprisingly it seemed to the chagrin of the social worker when she called to ask about my choice on my future identity.
Oh, and my roommate? I never did hear from him.
I was angry for a while because of that, but I just ended up using that as another lesson.
Even if I am a wonderful giving person, I can’t change how people treat me.
That’s on them, not me. Always learning right?
So that’s something. Cheers.
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 32: Beginning the journey with eyes wide open, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 30: Judgement. For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.