I’ve been experiencing a strange sort of anger lately. It’s not like the one I’ve had in the past. Anger before had always been like this red hot feeling pulsating beneath my skin. Like a bomb waiting to go off. Something I’ve spent most of my life trying not to feel.
This new anger is cold, focused. It clears my mind. I didn’t even know you could be calm and angry at the same time.
Perhaps it started with the war in Ukraine and facing the possibility of experiencing war myself. With having to ask myself whether I would ever be willing to kill or be killed fighting for freedom.
(The answer is ‘yes’, by the way.)
Perhaps I just reached a breaking point seeing people around me be discriminated and abused, and having myself to listen to hate speech directed at people like me. It’s very telling what people are willing to say in front of you when they don’t know they’re talking about you.
Or maybe I’m just really sick of people’s shit and I’m too tired for full hot-blooded anger.
I don’t know what happened, why I’m feeling this half-dissociated, cold anger. But it has brought determination and focus. Inspiration, even. I woke up a couple weeks ago and just started writing about my experience as a trans person in Sweden, of having my body being held hostage by the state and having to go through a dehumanising process to be allowed to make my own decisions about it. The words just poured out of me and it has turned into a new book project.
This new writing endeavour comes also with a sense of urgency. 2022 is an election year in Sweden and the right has continously moved further to the right since the last one. Both the Conservative party and the Christian Democrats – our very own version of Republicans – are more than willing now to work with the far-right Sweden Democrats. If the right wins the coming election, the far-right will likely become part of the government. This would be catastrophic for women’s rights, the rights of people of colour and of LGBTQ+ people.
Hence why I feel the need to get my story published before I no longer can. Because it is not a complete impossibility that in the coming years, Putin style laws will be instated that make it illegal to even be openly queer. As the recent developments in the US show, rights we take for granted can be taken away in the blink of an eye.
And the terrorist attack in Oslo two days ago is a reminder that there are other threats to our existence than the white nationalist far-right.
I remember years ago, my former Swedish and literature teacher told me after I came out that I should write about being trans, that it was needed and that I had the talent to make it into a good book. He’s a published author himself, so I’ve always valued his opinion. But I dismissed what he said then. The last thing I wanted to write about was the dysphoria, the transphobia and all that other shit I was going through. I wanted to focus on other things, topics that would distract me from the pain. Plus, I told myself, there’s already a tons of vlogs, blogs, and books out there on being trans. What can I possibly add that would be interesting?
Now, looking back, I realise that it’s not about adding anything special. There is not much unique about my life and transition. But even then, many people want every person like me to shut up about what we go through. It is a sad fact, but being openly trans is an act of resistance in itself. Every trans person who tells their story helps in the fight for our rights.
I also have more experience, having gone through social and most of my physical transition. I know a lot or things today that I didn’t know then and I think now is a far better time for me to write this book.
I’m still working on my crime series too, of course, and searching for publishers and literary agents for the first book. Working on different projects at once, I’ve found, helps me be more productive. It might seem counter-intuitive, but my ADD brain likes to switch between projects. That way I don’t get bored as quickly and can maintain focus for longer periods of time.
I’m aiming at finishing my new book before the end of the year, after I’ve had my final surgery this fall.