I stared in the mirror with a look of disgust. I hated even the thought of my own reflection. The long brown tangled mess of hair that fell in my face made me feel sick to my stomach, along with the unsubtle mounds protruding from my shirt. This wasn't who I was. This body didn't belong to me. I couldn't even bare to meet my own gaze without the thought of crying. I held back the tears as they tried to break from my eyes and looked down at the vanity in front of me. Useless makeup that I never wore, a hairbrush that hadn't been touched in months and a pair of scissors. A pair of scissors I'd stolen from my moms room for one reason. I picked it up and stared at the sharp blades, running my finger across them. My heart was racing with the realization of what I was about to do. I wrapped my free hand around a big strand of my hair, and took I a deep breath as I put the scissors to it, and cut.
Down to the floor, almost in slow motion, the strand of hair fell. I watched as it rested beside my feet and for some reason a sense of relief washed over me. Suddenly, what I was doing didn't seem so scary anymore. My motive seemed to become clearer and I continued to hack away at my remaining hair, feeling a sense of self take it's place. One by one I cut strands of my hair, until it was no longer than to my ears. It looked horrible, but I felt anything but that. I felt relieved, alive even and I'd never felt more like myself then I did in that moment. When I looked in the mirror at the empty space of where my hair used to be, I thought maybe, just maybe, that I felt happy.
I ran my fingers through it, trying to mess it up a bit to make it look half decent, but of course it was impossible. Hacking away at your hair wasn't exactly considered a legit hair cut. I took a deep breath as I threw on a hoodie I'd stolen from Drew, and then went for the door.
My heart stopped as I held onto the door handle and I really thought about what I'd just done. My mom was going to be pissed. That was years of growing out my hair, ruined with a few snips of some scissors. As light as my heart felt when I'd been cutting my hair, it felt fifteen times heavier right now. My mom was the most important person in my life. I wanted her to love me for who I was, but I knew that would be something that would be very hard for her. I hadn't told anyone else what or who I was but Drew. At first he was a bit freaked out, but I think he liked the idea of having a brother more than having a sister. Because even though I had been born Gracie Torres, that wasn't who I was. I was a FTM transgender. A girl from head to toe, but boy between the ears. I'd never been a girl, not even from the moment I was born. As long as I could remember, I'd hated that God had made me female. I hated dresses and boys and dolls and ponies. I'd like jeans and dirt and race cars and girls. I'd been confused my whole life and it ripped a slash right through my heart. Why had this happened to me? Why was I trapped in a body that wasn't my own? I felt like I was a mistake, that some how God had messed up when he'd made me. But I know now that's not the case. I just wasn't Gracie Torres. I was Adam, the name I'd given myself. Adam Torres. And today was the day I was going to introduce myself to my mom. With a deep sigh, I finally plucked up the courage and turned the knob of the door. I pushed it open slowly and peeked my head out, making sure no one was in the hallway. When I was sure no one was there, I stepped out and pulled the hood of the sweater over my head. I kept my head low, staring at the ground and didn't realize when Drew stepped out of his room, slamming right into me. I bounced back and the hood fell from my head.
"Whoa." he began, staring at my new hair cut with eyes so wide I thought they might pop from his head.
I looked away, afraid of his reaction and didn't dare meet his gaze.
"Grace, what did you do?"
"I'm not Gracie." I glared, as I pulled the hood back over my hair.
"Oh," he began and nodded, seeming slightly embarrassed, "Right… still what did you do to your hair?"
"I'm going to tell Mom..."
"You're what?" he asked in disbelief, "Are you trying to give her an early heart attack?"
"No, I'm just tired of pretending to be somebody else."
"This is not going to end well."
I let out a sigh, "Probably not."
The scene downstairs was as it usually was. My step dad was sitting at the table, reading his paper without any notice of the world around him, and my mom was cooking us all breakfast. I pulled the hood tighter over my head and took in a deep break before entering the room.
"Morning Mom," I began as I took a seat at the table, "Morning Dad."
"Morning Grace." Mom said, not taking her eyes from the stove. Dad grunted his hello and I stared down at the tablecloth. My heart was racing faster than ever and I felt like I was going to puke.
I watched my mother from behind and as I saw her body begin to turn, I closed my eyes and waited for my impending doom.
"Gracie…" she began, and I kept my eyes shut tight, my head hanging low, "Why are you wearing your brothers sweater when it's 90 degrees outside?"
I tried to remember how to breathe as I felt her body get closer to mine.
"And why do you have to cover up your beautiful hair…" she began and my heart nearly exploded, because I knew what her next move would be. In one swift movement, her hand swiped the hoodie from my head and as I felt it slide down my head, I heard her loud shrieking felt like it was slow motion. The hoodie falling, her loud scream, Dad's paper falling from it's place in front of his face, and even the tears that began to fall from my eyes as I lifted my head to look at her. She was standing aghast, staring at the wreck that was my new haircut and I fought to find the ability to speak.
"Mom," I began in a whisper so quiet you could hardly hear my words, "There's something I need to tell you."