I was worried about my legal name change for a bit. I worried that my name might be “too weird,” and that I should go for something more traditional. Sure, my name is Bridge, but maybe it should be something else for formal documents? As the two of them saw me fretting over my decision, one of my partners pulled me close and told me, “You’re the Bridge that brings people together—the Bridge that shows friends and loved ones where they need to go and how to get there.” Suddenly, I was calm. And I knew I was doing the right thing.
There’s only one Bridge Rousseuax St. Germain, and that would be me. A transgender, non-binary, agender person. The little queer with a lot of spunk, and a partner in each hand. Simply put, a rather flamboyant individual. Throughout the years, I’ve had many close friends tell me, “You live so openly and boldly… I really admire that about you, and you’ve inspired me.” To me, the words come as a shock. I just don’t know how to live any other way. After all, I’m only being myself. I declare my gender and pronouns at the tip of a hat. I don’t hide my feelings. I wear loud clothes, things that I’ve collected at cheap yard sales, and things that I’ve modified with my own hands. I flap my hands when I talk, and sometimes I make up songs as I speak. I have no shame dancing with no music. A drummer since I was eight years old, I know what a funky beat sounds like good enough.
Many people in my life see me as a sunflower, a ray of light. I always try to give people hope and put smiles on faces, that’s true. I’m the shoulder to cry on and the “gender expert” all my questioning friends come to for help. I’m even the vice president of Indianapolis’ Trans Book Club. But for a long time, I’ve been held back by my dysphoria. My gender is a fantastic, wonderful thing, but my body has put shackles on my mind and stunts my future. I can’t live my life in a binder, but with my chest the way it is, I can’t cope with the strain of not wearing it either. I’ve broken ribs before because of this problem. Hospital visits were frequent through high school, leading into college. And it’s been a barrier in my life, where it’s hard to think of anything about my future besides my surgery.
Now, thanks to the Jim Collin’s Foundation, I can finally get the surgery I’ve needed for so long. This is absolutely life changing—like I have a whole new world in front of me to explore, now that I can finally have my surgery date in my hands and know that I’m finally going to be comfortable in my own body. I wish I could give every last board member a hug! Now, this sunflower can really shine in full bloom!Bridge Rousseuax St. Germain