Origins Part II: Pride
The crowd around us was rowdy, probably a result of extreme alcohol consumption even though it was midday. Even three weeks later, the celebrations that the Tzari invasion had ended continued. So many rainbows and transgender flags were being waved as we walked. I expected us to be left in the back but instead random strangers were asking Joy if she could take control and help us.
“Go on then,” Lissa laughed, letting the random person push her for a bit. I blinked at them, they were clearly born male but wore their make-up well enough it rivalled Kellen. They seemed so comfortable in their dress, a pride flag tied around their short hair like a bandana.
“Your first trans pride?” she asked, clearly picking on my stares.
“Yeah, sorry,” I turned away. Ahead of us Joy and Kellen were walking with another group who was very loud, and drunk enough to give minors shots.
“I honestly didn’t know about transgender people until Lissa mentioned this pride,” I said, motioning to her in the wheelchair. Unfortunately that bullet had pierced through her abdomen and hit the bottom of the spine. It was early days yet and she might yet recover feeling in one or both her legs. I’d helped Joy in looking after her, feeling responsible.
“It’s a great day out,” Lissa shrugged. “I have a cousin who is a transguy as well,” she added.
“Transguy is someone assigned female at birth who identifies as male,” the women explained. “I’m a transgirl, opposite direction.”
“You could never tell,” Lissa said, glancing behind her.
“Thank you sweetie,” she replied, smiling. “At the end of the parade there’s a bunch of stall in the park if you want to ask more questions and understand it more.”
The transwoman hadn’t been lying, there were various stalls from different charities and organisations.
“Can we go back to the food stalls? I’m hungry,” Kellen sighed. We’d left Lissa and Joy to get food.
“I said you didn’t have to join me,” I laughed.
“And leave my bodyguard?” Kellen asked, leaning her head on my shoulder for a second.
“Some bodyguard I am. In the end you did the saving,” I sighed, looking at a stall that had badges with pronouns on.
“You still did the brunt of the work,” she insisted, walking over to a different stall that was selling trans-coloured jewelry. She bought a bracelet and rejoined me.
“I wonder what it must be like, being stuck in the wrong body,” Kellen murmured.
“I don’t know,” I shrugged.
“In our society so many people like to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do based on sex. Trans people must throw a real spanner in the works,” she murmured.
“Sounds like a good thing to me. Besides, you get variations of everything, why not gender identity,” I replied. Kellen nodded then smirked.
“Also, some of the transguys here are hot,” she said, grinning. I laughed and shook my head. “Ohh, candy floss!” Kellen raced off before I could stop her. I shook my head laughing and stopped at a stall, grabbing a leaflet. In bold at the top it said:
“Am I trans?”
It detailed shared experiences of most trans people, and talked about something called body dysphoria. I frowned and put the leaflet in my pocket, going over to Kellen who had bought not 2, but 3 buckets of candy floss.
“Mine,” she insisted before I could grab some.
“You are an only child,” I sighed, making her feign offence.
“Says you,” she muttered.
“I was raised among animals, I know how to share,” I shrugged.
“Maybe we should stop by the store on the way home for some cherries then,” she said.
“Fine by me,” I replied, refusing to cave to her teasing. “At least my addiction is healthy.” We both burst into laughter and found the other two. All in all it was a great day.
Later in the evening after Kellen had fallen asleep I was still awake. I sat up, albeit awkwardly with one arm in a restraint, and grabbed her laptop from her bedside table. I turned it on, dimming the light to low so as not to disturb Kellen and pulled up the internet. I started off by reading up on blogs about trans experiences. I then found youtube videos which I watched with headphones. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I watched them. The transguys were taking testosterone hormones and to my amazement it was working. Over the period of a few years they were transformed, looking like guys. One video did a voice change and it was equally amazing. A site warned me hormones were random, the effect based on your genetics and who knew what my bat DNA might mean in that regard. I had to try and-.
“Shit,” I whispered. It was four in the morning but I had to talk to someone.
“Kellen?” I called. She mumbled and shifted before slowly opening her eyes. She looked so cute as she wiped her eyes and slowly sat up.
“What’s up?” she asked. I licked my lips nervously and gulped. She blinked more awake and frowned. “You can tell me anything.” I gulped again, wondering if it would even be possible for me to live like that – and what would Heppenheim think? It was too late though, I’d worked it out and I couldn’t put the thought away now.
“I’m trans Kellen.”
She blinked at me, thinking, then laughed.
“Guess Lissa gets a real Romeo in the August play,” she joked. The play was the only reason we were still here. Ace had been clear we needed to leave the school since Kellens safety was compromised. However Kellen was quite persuasive and made him let us stay until after the play. I didn’t know where we were going next, but part of me hoped it was back to Heppenheim. Our stay at Rodeon was going to be short, but both Kellen and I had changed. She was a parahuman, and I was a transguy.