Rachel

It is difficult to know within the deepest pits of your body that you’re supposed to be a mother, but you cannot conceive. It’s living with a whirring dissonance whose volume depends on the circumstances of any given day. We by and large don’t consider that trans women may want children. We are told that we should be happy having the physical and many of the same biological characteristics of cisgender women, but we never ask trans women questions about pregnancy. In my case, being an intersex trans woman with an underdeveloped, non-functional uterus and incompatible genitalia, I feel particularly close to something just out of reach. The need to be a mother and my inability to act on that overwhelming, heavy, internal desire, with my own body is my own cross to bear. I’ll never get pregnant. I’ll probably never have a child of my own.

But I have this image of myself as a mom that I carry around with me on harder days. I have a daughter. Her name’s Rachel Erin Maclay. I can’t give her life, but I can give her space in my own mind. I can carry her with me, and even if I can’t manifest this idea of her into flesh she still resides within my own body. I don’t think that’s nothing. She is a fragment, an idea, a possibility, and through all of this I can see her. She exists here, in my heart and soul, and if that’s where she always is, then I will be thankful that she has given me that much. As her mom I know I will have done all that I can, having rammed up against the edges of the limitations of my own body, and still kept the idea of her alive.

This little girl inside me pulls a white rose.