You may call me. . .
Sir, dude, man, or hey-fucking-you; but you doesn’t has to call me, she.
Thanks for the invite, James. For those who don’t know me, my name is Bryl R. Tyne, pen name at the moment, but future legal name. I am an author, editor, marketing manager, advertising coordinator, graphic artist, handyman, mechanic, college graduate, abuse survivor, spouse, parent, grandparent, child, sibling, and so much more I could never list it; and I am F2M transgender.
As with any of the above descriptions, it took me awhile to figure each of them out. A few examples: When my current employer said, I couldn’t possible know how to edit for I worked in advertising and production, I searched for a publishing company that would value my strengths and found one. When my ex, the devil himself, said, I would never amount to anything for I didn’t, at age thirty, have a high school diploma, I sought out a community college to earn my GED and eventually attended a private college and earned my four-year degree in Communications also, including amassing a number of managerial positions along the way and even owning my own company at one time. And when my children said, I could not be a man for I had labored to give them life, I decided it was time I stopped trying to prove my worth to anyone but myself.
First, you must know one thing about me, which I firmly believe: I abhor labels. Why? Simply because labels bind you, constrain you, box you in. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the thought of being stamped any "thing" in particular. But alas, we don’t live in a perfect world.
Took some serious consideration to realize why I’m a jack of all trades, though, but I finally came to the conclusion. I can be anything I strive to be. But that answer doesn’t satisfy a label-happy society, does it? So, I sat down with myself a few years back and took an internal inventory. What did I uncover? Well, I realized, despite my best efforts, I was indeed amassing a gigantic list of labels to call myself. However, the question then became, Why? Once I found the correct question, the answer was obvious. I was hiding the fact that I was afraid. Terrified of what others may think of me, how much I stood to lose if the truth be known. I also realized two other very important aspects. I wasn’t getting younger and I was tired. Tired of trying to conform, tired of putting on a front, tired of running. Running away from "Me".
So, I decided, despite all I abhorred, that I did in fact need a label. One that says, "Oh! That’s you," and I picked up a pen and began to write. In a six-week span, I wrote a 77K word novel about a young person with a major identity crisis. Full of fantasy and guardian spirits, men loving men, and women loving women . . . and no one was ever going to publish this crap, I thought, at the time. Of course, I was mistaken. Not that that manuscript will ever clutter a publisher’s desk, but searching for a publisher who might accept such a work opened my eyes to a world I, up until that point, never knew existed.
"Oh! So, you’re an author," you say.
No. If I must choose a label, I would say, I am a transman.
One, who happens to have experienced more in my forty plus years than many other people experience in a lifetime . . . and from it all, I write some pretty damned good, and sometimes funny, stories about men loving men, women loving women, and men loving men who believe they are women, and every combination of gender and sexuality one could imagine.
We’re here, everywhere really. Many of you have transwomen or transmen as neighbors. You may even work alongside one of us, undergo medical care from one of us, be taught by one of us, have your groceries packed or your drinks served by one of us, and not know we were born into bodies that don’t "fit" who we are. Would knowing change anything? Would slapping a label on our foreheads help you choose how to treat us? I doubt it. But again, I may be mistaken. So, here I am, Bryl R. Tyne, transman, author–Oh, you know the rest.
I invite you to check out my latest story, the first in the mini-series The Zagniel Diaries, titled Forsaken, which will be available next week from Untreed Reads Publishing.
Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, STARbooks Press, and Untreed Reads Publishing. You can find out more about Bryl at: bryltyne.com