A boy in makeup


Honestly, this past year has been a mess, and nothing about it makes sense anymore. I always thought I knew who I was, who I was going to be, but 2021 had a different plan for me.

Going into the year, I was confident of my identity, confident that I was who I wanted to be. But 2021 said, “You know what? You should have three identity crises this year.” 

My identity changed a lot over this last year. I went from having a grasp on it, to having seven months where I didn’t really know who I was. All of that is due to a little part of me that I keep hidden away, the part of me that stays hidden inside of me.

Repression: something I did for far too long. I did for too many years, and never did I admit it till after the fact. I didn’t let people in on the fact that I was suffering silently sitting inside my mind’s palace.

A palace whose walls were impregnable. A front gate lay open, but no travelers enter its protection, for who would want to live under a mad king? One whose mind was gone for several months. One who couldn’t even describe himself right?

I used my walls to keep everyone out, to not show anything to anyone, yet there wasn’t even a reason for me to. Yet for the life of me, I couldn’t let anything pass in or out.

It got to the point where I shielded myself from myself. I hid everything till I couldn’t tell what I was feeling. One night, however, the walls suddenly dropped.

I held a lot close to me, too many secrets I held in fear of hurting others. Secrets I held about hurting myself, of my past and who I was, of the regrets I held till that night. Of the fears, I held onto that night.

Yet when the walls came down, everything came flooding back. What was it like to actually express myself, and as I found my sanctuary in shambles, a lone traveler stood by my side. One who wasn’t afraid of the tyrant of my mind’s making.

Yet they embraced me, they guided me away from the fears that surrounded my very being, for they taught me to express. They taught me to show what I felt, so for the first time in years, I did.

I didn’t hide what I was feeling behind a fortress that brought me comfort but embraced the overwhelming and roaming thoughts that I had spurned away.

The once mad king had been reformed, their regal presence regained, but king she was no more.

The thoughts that roamed like the ghosts of the dead that once haunted my head had been laid to rest, and I found that there was no mad king, there never even was.

My wanderer, who spun my views, who made me question everything I thought of myself, had brought their second twist into my life. It’s funny how a single question they asked me reshaped my identity for a second time.

The once mad king had been reformed, their regal presence regained, but king she was no more.”

The tyrant of my mind wasn’t even a king, but she found the right word to describe herself.

Understanding who I am is hard; the fact that a single question sent me spiraling scares me. Yet for now, I have clarity. I have the peace of mind that I know who I am, yet the world doesn’t see it yet.

“Thank you… sir?” some say. “So, your name is Audrey?” others have told me. “Wait your name is… are you kidding me?” another has said. And the pain in my head grows from these, yet a stranger’s words only hurt so much.

Their words put me down, yet my friends had my back, they were in my corner. And the traveler is among them, always reassuring and affirming who I was without questioning me; however, with the positives must come to the negatives.

Some days, I truly try to look right, to look how I want and feel better about myself, yet even then, I’m put down: “You are not passing,” someone said; “You should expect to be misgendered.” Those words ring in my mind, as do all the other hateful things I’ve been told.

They ring in my mind and bring me down; those are the times I don’t feel happy. Those are the times I feel like just a boy in makeup. The times I feel like I am failing at something that makes me dream of its success. The times that bring me down and wish the walls had never gone.

Those walls are forever gone, and I don’t plan on rebuilding them. For the walls are the difference between who I want to be and just a boy in makeup. For they are what makes the difference between me and Kyle.

For they are who defined me by the container I limited myself to rather than who I am. Rather than who I want to be seen as. Rather than a mad queen who couldn’t even define herself right.