If I Was Your Girl

Amanda’s life and identity would be just as valid if she didn’t figure herself out until later in life, or if she were a tomboy, or if she were bisexual or a lesbian or asexual, or if she had trouble passing, or if she either could not or chose not to get “bottom” surgery.

As I spoke I thought back to what Virginia had said weeks before, about getting anything you wanted if you let yourself believe you deserved it. For as long as I could remember, I had been apologizing for existing, for trying to be who I was, to live the life I was meant to lead. Maybe this would be the last conversation I would ever have with Grant. Maybe not. Either way, I realized, I wasn’t sorry I existed anymore. I deserved to live. I deserved to find love. I knew now—I believed, now—that I deserved to be loved.

Being a girl in this world means being afraid. That fear'll keep you safe. It'll keep you alive.

For as long as I could remember, I had been apologizing for existing, for trying to be who I was, to live the life I was meant to lead.

God wanted me to live, and this was the only way I knew how to survive, so this was what God wanted.

Hell, even the straight people have enough skeletons in their closet to fill a tomb. Everybody’s too afraid of going to hell or getting made fun of to be honest about what they want and who they are, so they can’t even really admit what they want to themselves.

His shadow stretched out past mine. I remembered Mom telling me how frightening men were, all men really, how helpless it often felt to be a woman among men, and for the first time I understood what she meant.

I felt guilty all of a sudden, as if just by existing and talking to him I was leading him on.

I have a past, okay? And you really don't want to get involved with it.'
'Everybody's got a past,' he said. 'That doesn't mean you can't have a future.

I have, in some ways, cleaved to stereotypes and even bent rules to make Amanda’s trans-ness as unchallenging to normative assumptions as possible.

I know it hurts. I know it hurts so bad you can barely breathe sometimes. I know because I’ve been there. Please don’t leave us. I promise life can be good, and we need you too much.

I like him a lot.... I think I might love him. And it obviously isn't everything, but being the way I am has been a huge part of my life. It's easy to act like my past never happened, but it feels like I've put up this wall around my heart.

I’m not brave,” I said, smiling despite myself. “Bravery implies I had a choice. I’m just me, you know?” I

I thought of going the rest of my life pretending I sprang to life from nothing at sixteen years old and felt my cheeks flush with shame and anger. I was so tired of cowering. I was so tired of hiding. I wanted to tell the truth, to say it out loud.

I’ve seen trans people in movies and TV shows, but judging by how unrealistic and shitty bi characters tend to be, I’m gonna assume I know nothing. So what’s okay for me to ask?

I wasn’t sorry I existed any more. I deserved to live. I deserved to find love. I knew now – I believed, now – that I deserved to be loved.

I wondered if joy could ever be felt by itself without being tainted with fear and confusion, or if some level of misery was a universal constant, like the speed of light.

I wondered when I’d reach the end of things I didn’t know. *

Just 'cause I'm bi doesn't mean I have magic powers. I'm not the plucky queer sidekick in your romantic comedy.

Maybe secrets were part of life; maybe everyone had something they were lying to themselves about, or something they were hiding.
I looked up at the cross again and wondered if I was supposed to hear this particular sermon at this particular moment for a reason. I decided that the people who had said God didn’t love me, who said I didn’t have a place on Earth—they were wrong. God wanted me to live, and this was the only way I knew how to survive, so this was what God wanted. This was what I wanted. I had chosen to live, and it seemed like, finally, I was doing just that.

Radical faith means you trust that the Lord visited these weaknesses and sorrows on you as part of His plan...

[S]omething had to change. Because I had changed.

That´s your problem. You work so, so hard to be boring so you can impress boring people.

that you think makes you so complicated couldn’t make me

The cicadas buzzed persistently in the growing dusk. I had read once that they lived underground for most of their lives, only emerging as adults to live out their final days. Was that going to be me? Was I going to live underground for the better part of my life, never coming out into the world? They

You can have anything once you admit you deserve it.

You can have anything,” she said, “once you admit you deserve it.

You know walls are there for a reason though, right? They keep things from falling apart.

You tried to kill yourself,” she said, rolling her eyes up to heaven and biting her knuckle. “Andrew Hardy was gonna die one way or the other, and one of the choices gave me a daughter in exchange while the other left me with no one.” “I