“Today will be different.” , Jake said to himself as he stood in front of the mirror, staring at his reflection.
Jake was all okay, happy and a bright young boy until the tenth grade. After that something just wasn’t right. His behavior changed. Jake wasn’t all smiles anymore. He used to lock himself up in his room for days together. Food wasn’t his first love anymore, especially after being diagnosed with an eating disorder. Diana couldn’t understand what was going wrong with her son. She took him for short weekend trips to cheer him up, tried to confront him about his problems, she also made Jake join a self-help group thinking that maybe he’d be able to open up and address his problems with people his own age. But nothing worked. All of Diana’s attempts were fruitless. Until one night when it all came to light. She now knew what was troubling her son so much.
“No! I am not going to hide anymore. I won’t take this anymore. I am what I am and I won’t change even an inch of it. Let them make fun of me as much as they want. Today I will go up to Shane and tell him to stop what he has been doing. He can’t do this to me. It’s enough now. Today I must speak up or else I might do ‘it’ again.” , Jake said to himself as he got ready for school.
Jake had a brief history of clinical depression. He had cut himself many times. His trips to the hospital for the failed suicide attempts had been too much for Diana. That day she made him sit in front of her and asked him to tell her what was going on. Jake told her how he was being bullied at school. A group of boys abused him at school. They also created several memes and videos about him and got them to go viral on various social media sites. And all of this just because he was different. Because he conducted himself differently than others.
” Mummy does so much for me. She’s also been through a lot. She has helped me change two schools and we have already moved twice since Papa died. I can’t burden her like this anymore. I must be strong. I can do this. I can. Today will be different.”, Jake spoke with a voice filled with courage and strength but his eyes spoke of a different emotion altogether. He fell to the floor with tears flooding his eyes. He couldn’t stop the memories of his father from rushing into his brain. He missed him a lot. It had just been six months since he had lost his father to a tragic accident.
“Jake, honey, are you ready? You’ll be late. Jake? Are you even listening to me? Jake? Common, hurry up already.”, Diana said as she climbed up the stairs to Jake’s room hastily. When she saw Jake on the floor, she couldn’t help crying. She ran to embrace him in her arms.
“Jake, I know how difficult it has been for you. You’ve gone through a lot. But don’t worry. I have all the paperwork done. Today will be your last day at this school. Tomorrow we’ll be moving out of this town. I am sure that you’ll like the new place. I have taken care of everything. We will begin with the medical procedures and the surgery as soon as you feel ready. Honey, please don’t cry. I can’t see you like this. I want you to know that you are not alone in this. I am there for you. I don’t care what the world says. I want you to know that your Mummy is here for you and that we’ll fight all of this together. I love you Jake. I love you so much.” , having said that Diana hugged him even tighter than before.
Jake faced his mother and wiping her tears began speaking to her politely while looking into her eyes, “Mummy, it’s not Jake, remember? We talked about this that night. It’s Jennifer. I’m Jennifer, Ma. Jennifer.”
“Oh, yes. Jennifer. I’m sorry. Jennifer, I love you.”
If we all learn to accept people for who they are then I believe that for each of those people, there will be a ‘today’ that will be different. Transgender, homosexual or bisexual, they’re still humans. Humans who deserve love, respect and most of all, acceptance.
“GENDER PREFERANCE DOESN’T DEFINE YOU, YOUR SPIRIT DOES.”