The Mask of a Boy Who is Different


(Image via The List)

Jaycob Davis, Writer

TW: mentions of transphobia

She was a girl, that is who she was. Labeled this way since birth. Destined to be this way until the day her heartbeat stopped. That is who they told her she had to be, she could not be anything more because she was not like the boys who kicked the soccer ball around on the field. At least that is what they told her she had to be. She was not much special to them, another 6th grader doing math, reading, and writing like all the other kids. She was a song that was forbidden to be sung, nothing more because she lives in a world where no one can be special. They saw her as nothing because she was nothing more than just a girl. She had a decent amount of friends and always tried to be friends with anyone she could. She did everything we all did, so why be so cruel as to treat her awfully? 

But there is something we do not know. Something we do not know about her brown hair that is always tangled in a mess, something about how she walks with her head down when she got called to present to the class. She smiled and put on a mask out of fear of not being like everyone else was. She hid who she was to prove she was nothing more than just a girl, since that is what you wanted and needed her to be. But do not be fooled by her smiling face or her brown hair that falls over her arms to cover her pages so you cannot read them. She is more than a girl and more than you know. She is a writer, a survivor, she smiles but she has cried many times before. When you see her you see a simple girl and that she is just another existence in your school. At night she reads the pages of her heart’s misery to the moon. Why can’t she be the boy she knows she is? 

The boy that has been in her soul since the day he could process anything, had been hidden for so long with a mask, but that mask eventually broke. He broke free from everything they told him he had to be, he was finally almost able to break free from all those kids who told him he should die for being this way. Nothing would ever be better than the day he told everyone his new name. The mask had finally been left behind, taken off. Some people supported the new him, but some people treated him differently as if he could control the reason he was even here. He is more than what you made him out to be back in 5th and 6th grade. You all simplified a wildfire and told him what he could and could not amount to. 

Though he is now a he and she has been gone for so many years, the mask occasionally tries to come back, not because he wanted it to, but because so many people decide what makes somebody good enough and holding a blue pink and white flag was not on their radar. But why not? He goes through every day as do you and me, he has feelings and he has reasons. At first, he knew he was not the only one born in the wrong body, but he also did not ever think there were so many people who understood exactly what it was to hold those colors. That those colors were a part of him, but he was also more than just three colors on the flag. He is a writer, photographer, and person. However nobody takes into consideration those things, those colors come off as a warning sign and that is called transphobia. Intentionally or unintentionally shaming people for not being born in the right body, though this does exist he is still able to grow up, go to school and further his writing career just like he dreamed of doing back when the flag was never a thing we talked about. Three colors will always be something we should talk about not only due to issues of transphobia, but because so many kids and teens get harassed, bullied and treated less than human just because of an identity that may not match yours. This story is not a made-up story, it is my story. A boy who was trapped in the wrong body and limited not only by fear but by lack of education surrounding such a thing. The boy who would sit alone at lunch, the one who wrote everything because he has this passion to create is finally starting to put the mask down. He is not just a normal person with simple and unoriginal dreams and aspirations. People told him he cannot be anything because of the three colors he held. He is more than three colors, more than a boy, he has a million stories to tell and he is going to tell them all.