Anyone who ever feels that words don’t harm, think again.
My mother complained,
“If only you had been a boy.”
According to Gay Star News out of the United Kingdom, 44 year old Belgian Nathan Verhelst worked with his doctor to perform physician-assisted suicide following a lifetime of rejection. Nathan was a trans male who had recently completed bottom surgery to have a penis constructed. Dissatisfied with his body and seeing his body rejecting the surgery, Nathan stated that he didn’t want to be a “monster.”
Something tells us he felt like “a monster” his entire life given the despicable commentary from his family, including Nathan’s own mother. He wasn’t a monster. He was a human being.
This article immediately grabbed our attention and we were struck by the inhumanity of the family. And the truth to how so many of us felt or feel (and some will feel) given the way our families or societies (wherever we are) treat us.
Gay Star News explains Nathan’s decision to obtain physician-aided euthanasia – a practice that is legal when certain circumstances are met in Nathan’s home country:
Verhelst informed his family of his decision to die in a letter. ‘I had happy times, but the balance is on the wrong side,’ he said.
He recalled how his mother had loved his brothers, but appeared to hate him because he was born in the body of a girl.
‘While my brothers were celebrated,’ he said, ‘I got a storage room above the garage as a bedroom.
‘My mother complained, “If only you had been a boy”.’
Verhelst’s mother confirmed she had not wanted him.
‘When I saw [Nathan’s birth name] for the first time, my dream was shattered. She was so ugly. I had a phantom birth. Her death does not bother me,’ his mother told Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper.
‘I will definitely read the letter but it will be full of lies.
‘For me, this chapter is closed. Her death does not bother me. I feel no sorrow, no doubt or remorse. We never had a bond.’
It sounds as though there were others in Nathan’s family who needed quite a bit of extra care.
Yes, we may feel anger at Nathan’s mother. Think deeper, though. We discussed reactions in our own families that showed innocent (to a point) ignorance about others that were just too hard to grasp.
One such example was an OutJustice member’s anger at “the girl across the street.” She’s “the type” with “all” the kids and “on welfare.” The family member’s take (our family member – that of an OutJustice supporter, not the girl’s family member) felt the young lady had caused her troubles herself.
Well. Maybe. Likely not. And definitely not entirely.
How did she get there? Do people know what institutionalized racism even means? Should we define that here?
Many articles, which we will not link to, refer to Nathan as “it.” He was not an “it.” Exclusion “gives us” permission to be cruel. As proven time and again – Nazi Germany, The Sudan, Rwanda, the Armenian Genocide, the U.S. genocide against the American Indians (referenced by Adolf Hitler to quiet concerns about what “Americans” might or did think).
Rejection or indifference – which is worse?
What do you think?