‘The Physics of Forbidden Love’From the essay:
Malcolm Conner, Trinity University
The winning essay from our Modern Love College Essay Contest explores an unlikely romance between a transgender man and an immigrant Indian woman.
I was told by my doctor that I had gender dysphoria, the product of a mismatch between body and brain. ...This sounds like a sick joke, making fun of leftist Jewish efforts to debase American culture.
She was truly unfazed by my transness. I exulted in this; it seemed as though I had finally cleared the last hurdle between me and the mundane heterosexual existence I had yearned for. Joking about reincarnation once, she said I must have had great karma to be a human in this life.
“It couldn’t have been that good,” I said, “or I wouldn’t have wound up in a girl’s body.” ...
She and I are still together, and we will almost certainly break up. Our relationship is based on mutual respect and trust — like any healthy pairing — but also on denial. She cannot marry me. We both know this, though I think she knows it better than I do.
The foolhardy logic I use to rationalize my commitment to her will no doubt worsen my inevitable heartbreak. But for now, it sustains me. As animosity toward brown-skinned immigrants seems to worsen daily in this political climate, and anti-transgender bills that strip me of my dignity draw closer to becoming law in the Texas Legislature, there are days when we wake up scared, go to bed scared and navigate our isolation in between.
Why not find refuge, however finite and daring, with each other? In a time of such upheaval and uncertainty, our reckless, quiet love feels like deliverance.