Coming Out Of My Cage (2024)

Katrina flinched as he stepped through the portal again and felt the dysphoria immediately make itself known. He decided not to waste any time thinking about the fact that he was forced to be Mark once again, doing his best to ignore the repulsion that quickly built back up. He tried to ride the wave of good feeling he got from that side as he climbed the ladder and retook his position on the bed. It was impossible to do though. The feeling quickly faded, and all he was left with was the dysphoria and the thought that he once again didn’t appreciate his time enough.

“Life is so unfair…” he thought as he stared ahead for a moment, not bearing to listen to his voice. It was a long moment before he shook his head clear and opened his laptop up again. He decided that since that portal existed, he would do his very best to not waste time sulking on this side. If he was going to be doing something he knew was wrong for him, he would at least avoid wasting time.

The very first thing he saw was a PM from that girl he spoke to earlier that morning, Sylvia. He felt the anxiety well up again, not wanting to click on it. He felt like he knew exactly what it was going to say, and had no idea how he would respond to it. Somehow though, he found the resolve to see what she had sent to him.

“I’m sorry,” the message read. “I didn’t mean to question you so publicly like that. I was just curious. You don’t have to respond to me if you don’t want to, but if you feel comfortable, I’d love to know. I’m trans, too, just so you know.”

His anxiety seemed to intensify. She already knew what he was. That much was obvious to him by the simple inclusion of the word ‘too’ in her message. He didn’t know why she was even asking. It seemed silly.

“I’m…” he typed out, feeling like he was about to have a heart attack. He couldn’t do it. Even as bad as he felt, he couldn’t do it. Once he opened the door, it would never be closed again.

He closed his eyes and felt his heartbeat get faster as he took a breath. All he had to do was type three words. Three little words, and that was it. They were the three biggest words of his life. He knew they belonged to him and rang true even if he never wanted to say them. How could he? They were a confirmation of how unfair life was and an acknowledgment that the feeling he had would never go away on its own. Saying those words made what was only probably true definitely true.

“It’s already true,” he told himself. “Just admit to yourself what you are. You can’t keep going on like this. Don’t you like how nice it feels to be yourself? Don’t you want to change?”

He took another breath before opening his eyes again. He wasn’t sure if he was brave enough to do what was a second away, but decided that it should be done before he could stop himself.

“Yes, I’m trans,” Katrina typed, sending the message then closing her laptop before she could see the response. She shivered and felt her heart beating out of her chest as she got up to pace around her bedroom. She knew she threw the door wide open with that message.

“It was a door that was already opened,” she told herself as she paced. “It’s not like you just realized you were dysphoric yesterday… Oh, why the heck did I do that? This was such a bad idea. I shouldn’t be entertaining this at all.”

As weird as it was, while she knew it wasn’t something she should be acknowledging, she thought it felt rather nice to tell herself. She didn’t understand why though. Saying it meant admitting that she was broken and had to fix herself, a terrifying prospect that she wasn’t even sure was possible. Still, it somehow gave her a strange sense of comfort.

She took nearly half an hour to pace around and dwell on what she just did, what she promised before she would never admit to anyone. Eventually though, she calmed down enough to sit back down and take a look to see if anything was sent to her in response.

“Awww, it’s okay,” Sylvia’s message read. “I know just how hard it is to say. I’m here for you. If you ever need to talk about anything, feel free to tell me, okay?”

“Okay, thank you, but please don’t tell anyone else,” Katrina typed back. “I can barely admit it to myself. I don’t want anyone else to know.”

“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. How long ago did you figure out you were a girl? Did it happen recently?”

That message made her smile. She couldn’t help but laugh a little bit at the idea that she suddenly woke up one day and realized she was a girl. That would’ve been quite the experience.

A second later, she looked down at herself and frowned. Even though she knew she wanted to be one, she wasn’t a girl. She might have been able to finally just barely admit to herself that she was trans, but she couldn’t see how the body she was in could possibly belong to a female with how grotesquely masculine it looked.

“No,” she explained. “I’ve known for several years now, except today was the first time I’ve ever told someone else, or myself for that matter…”

“Well it’s very brave of you to do,” Sylvia told her. “I know your pain and just how hard it is to admit to yourself. It’s a very big step to take, but you should be proud that you have the strength to do so. You’re a very wonderful woman and deserve nothing but good things in your life.”

Katrina wanted to reply that she wasn’t. If she was a woman, there would be no dysphoria for her to feel everyday, no repulsion when she looked at herself. The fact that she felt those things was proof enough of what she wasn’t, that much was certain.

She wasn’t brave either. If she was brave, she would’ve done this years ago and would probably have been somewhere completely different in her life. She wouldn’t have wasted over a quarter of a century hating herself and done something about it if she really were brave. Even now admitting to herself that she was trans, she was probably going to waste more time convincing herself to stay where she was because of how terrifying it was.

She didn’t say those things though, instead offering a simple thanks before closing her laptop again.

“That… was something…” she whispered to herself as she looked at nothing in particular. She thought before about what this moment might feel like, many times imagining that tears would flow. Right now though, she felt mostly awkward, mixed in with a little bit of fear. Maybe a dash of happiness was there, too? It was an interesting mix of emotions, that much she knew.

Something that was completely unexpected to her was her sudden desire to talk about it. For the better part of ten years, she had absolutely no desire to discuss it or think about it, not with friends or family or doctors or anyone. But now she felt the strong urge to open up about herself, one she never had before, and it felt very strange.

“So that’s that then,” Katrina said quietly, doing her best not to flinch at how her voice sounded. “I guess I’m out now.” She knew it was foolish, but somehow, she expected that the second she came out, her dysphoria would end. It was a silly thought though, and she wasn’t the least bit surprised when that didn’t happen. Her body felt to her the same as it always did, the only difference now being that she was acknowledging why.

For the third time she opened up her laptop, this time to put on that old Green Day song she liked, Waiting. She closed her eyes and let it play on repeat, listening and imagining it was a song written specifically for her. “No one can touch me now; and I can’t turn my back. It’s too late, ready or not at all,” the song said, Katrina sinking into her bed as she listened. That was true, wasn’t it? She couldn’t take back what she said, and even if she did, it wouldn’t make it any less true. It was too late, whether or not she was ready for it.

She spent the next while chatting with her friends, letting the feeling of her acknowledgment sink over her. As she did, she silently wondered what would come next. Hopefully nothing soon, seeing as she nearly had a heart attack just telling a stranger online what she was. But eventually something, right? It wouldn’t make much sense to do nothing, would it? Even as well as it went with Sylvia though, the thought of telling her family made her want to hyperventilate.

“No,” she firmly decided. “I’m not doing anything in real life, not ever. I’m never coming out in real life. That’s just going to be a big mess if I do. I can live with managing dysphoria on this side and enjoy my time on that side, unless…”

She gasped suddenly as an idea came to her, one she was surprised she hadn’t thought of earlier. That pony, Twilight, said she made a portal to another dimension. If she could do that, it should be a piece of cake for her to turn her into what she wanted to be, no doubt.

“And then I would still have to tell everyone I’m trans…” Katrina thought, closing her eyes and grimacing. As hard or as easy as everything else would be, she absolutely didn’t want to do that. As much as she wanted it, even as nicely as it went with Sylvia, she would rather do anything else than come out. Her eyes started to water at just the thought of having to tell her father who she was.

“This is so unfair,” she whispered sadly as she rubbed her eyes dry, looking at the time. Eight-thirty. She would have to go to work in a few minutes anyway, which might actually be a good thing. It would give her both time to think and time to sleep on it to see how she felt. She didn’t think she’d feel any differently, but it would delay the inevitable anyway.

The night seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye, and before she knew it, she was waking up in the afternoon again, her laptop showing another message from Sylvia. She was both nervous as to what it would reveal and happy that she would have a chance to talk about herself again and wasted no time in opening it up.

“Hey, I was just wondering,” it read, “are you planning on transitioning? Cause if you are, I can find you some doctors in your area.”

Katrina paused at that, having no idea what to say, but her fingers spoke for her anyway.

“I have no idea. I’m… it’s hard. I know what I want to be, but I don’t want to have to say what I want to be to people. I don’t think I’m ever going to come out in real life. It’s just… too hard.”

“I understand that way too well,” she read in response. “I felt the exact same way two years ago. I told myself I would never come out to anyone. But eventually, I was able to build up the courage, and now I feel much better than I’ve ever been.”

“I don’t know if I’ll ever have that courage,” she typed. “It’s just… I know I’ll never be who I want to be, and even if I was somehow, I still don’t know if I’d have the courage.”

That wasn’t entirely true. She was who she wanted to be on the other side, partly anyway. But all of her friends, family, coworkers, they would never see her as she was on this side no matter how nice she looked. Even if the letter said she could move to somewhere on that side, Equestria, she couldn’t just walk out of her friends and family’s lives forever. Not to mention, she was still sure that if she spent long enough on that side, the dysphoria would come back. Then where would she be?

A moment later, she read from Sylvia, “I think you can be who you want to be. I know you probably don’t believe me, and I don’t know what you look like, but I think you’d be a very beautiful girl. You can be who you want to be if you believe in yourself, or have someone else believe in you if you can’t.”

Katrina sighed at that and looked at herself. There was no way she would ever be who she wanted to be without some sort of magic involved, or a miracle. It just wasn’t going to happen, no matter how much she believed in herself. The best she could hope for was to roleplay as the pony version of herself.

“There’s no way I’ll look like anything else other than someone ugly and masculine. At best, I’ll look like a man pretending to be a woman…” She put a hand on her face as she sent the message, pushing back the tears. “I hate this so much…” she added as she cried a little bit.

“I think you can do it,” Sylvia told her again. “I really do. It’s gonna take time and it’s gonna be very awkward, but you can do it. If I can change, anyone can change.”

“I don’t think you’re gonna change my mind,” Katrina replied, the tears slipping out. “I just… I look so terrible. I’m not gonna look like anything but someone who’s pretending…”

“I’m not trying to change your mind,” Sylvia apologized. “I just want you to know that the option is there, if you want it. I believe in you though and think you can be who you want to be. You’re a very wonderful woman.”

“I understand,” Katrina replied. “Thank you though. I have to go now.”

“It’s okay. You do whatever you have to do. I want you to remember though that you’re a very nice lady. It’s very wonderful to see you take time out of your day every day to chat with us and ask us how we are. I know there are certainly days when you don’t want to, and it’s very lovely that you do anyway. I think so at least.”

She sighed to herself and turned away at that. She talked about it like she felt she wanted to, but she wasn’t happy because of it. If anything, it made her feel worse. She could only wish that the things Sylvia told her were true, or hope for a little magic.

“I need to go see Twilight,” she decided as she got up and used an arm to wipe away her tears.

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Coming Out Of My Cage (2024)
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