Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 18: Lark’s Sisters

Mom (Present me): Hello Lark.

Lark (20s me): Hi Mom. Coming to me for a change?

Mom: Yup! I wanted to ask you about your sisters.

Lark: What about them?

Mom: Well, what do you think of them? Are you getting along?

Lark: We get along okay, I guess. What do I think of them? Uh… I’m not sure. I mean, I know they’re younger versions of me, but — they don’t feel like it.

Mom: What do you mean?

Lark: I mean they’re different from how I was. There are a lot of similarities between us, and I share their memories, and sometimes they do things that I recognize in myself, but… There’s something about them that’s completely foreign to me. It’s like they forgot how to protect themselves from the world. Maybe that’s a side effect of being inside your mind.

Mom: Or maybe it’s an effect of accepting themselves as trans girls.

Lark (annoyed): Oh, not this again.

Mom: Be as annoyed as you want; it’s the only difference I’m aware of. You felt the need to protect yourself because the alternative — telling people you’ve dreamed about being a woman — felt like it would destroy you. They’re living their truth now, so they have no need to protect themselves.

Lark: That’s just naive! Bloom acts like she understands everything but her experience is so limited! She keeps trying to convince me that being a girl would make everything better, but she has no idea what accepting that idea would actually mean!

Mom (sarcastic): That doesn’t sound like anyone else I know.

Lark (embarrassed): I… Okay, fine, I was a lot like that when I was her age.

Mom: Of course you were, as was I. It’s a side effect of us all being the same person. What about Libra?

Lark: Libra’s a little easier to talk to… She’s a little more worldly, but she’s still sort of living in a fantasy world where she isn’t really responsible for anything.

Mom: Well yeah, she’s in college.

Lark: I know, but there’s that same sort of blind faith, you know? That being a girl is the clear answer and it makes everything else amazing. She just hides it better than Bloom does.

Mom: She hides it because she knows you’re having a hard time accepting it. She’s right though; it does make everything else amazing.

Lark (annoyed): So what, we just transition and the world is sunshine and roses?

Mom: No, of course not. It’s a long, gradual process and there are lots of ups and downs. But every month is better than the last; the sun gets steadily brighter and the roses smell steadily sweeter.

Lark: And what about all the people around us who’ll abandon us for being queer or try to force us back into our old shape?

Mom: Things are different in my time. We have different friends who are much more accepting of queer folk, and we find new community. There aren’t many people who want us to go back, and those that do hold no power over us.

Lark: But how do you know transition isn’t going to turn around and bite us later, huh? How do you know things are going to be okay?

Mom: I don’t know that things are going to be okay — things are actually really scary out there for trans people right now. While *I’m* safe for the moment, a lot of other trans people aren’t. In a couple of years I might not be either.

Lark: Then why take that risk!? Why risk our safety?

Mom (upset): There wasn’t really a choice, Lark! That social friction that I keep telling you about? It gets worse as we get older. It starts to erode our life. It starts hurting the people who matter most to us. Once we transition, we get our lives back, and far more besides. I’ve felt more vibrant — more *real* — than I’ve ever been before. I’m able to live as my true self, and that’s worth any risk. I will never go back.

Lark: I just… I just don’t understand.

Mom (sad): No, you don’t. You can’t understand it until you’ve experienced it, and you can’t experience it until you’re willing to see yourself as a girl and take those first steps on your own. But maybe there’s something I can tell you that’s a little convincing.

Lark: What’s that?

Mom: You have such a hard path in life. You go through it battering your way through obstacles through force of will alone. It’s exhausting, and very limiting. Something I realized at your age was that if I could approach challenges differently — through love instead of through anger or conflict — I’d be able to sustain my energy throughout those challenges. And I was right; that approach works wonders. After transition, I’m finally able to access enough love to sustain myself.

(Lark is silent for a few moments.)

Lark (pensive): Huh. These conversations always seem to end with me questioning my identity in some fundamental way.

Mom: I’ve had literal decades to think about this stuff. Give me a little credit.

Lark: Fair enough. See you later Mom.