A personal story based on a note by Russian author Anton Chekhov.


Puedes encontrar la versión hermana en español de este artículo en Curiosidad mata miedo.

Chekhov’s Note

Anton Chekhov wrote in one of his notebooks:

A man in Monte Carlo goes to the casino, wins a million, returns home, commits suicide.

My Experience Based on That Note

You knew you had to commit suicide. You couldn’t continue any longer. You were clear that with suicide you would loose everything you had accomplished in life, even your name. The fears were so strong they had petrified you always. They were because you’d be rejected, you’d be made into a mockery, people would talk about you behind your back from there on, and even some would want to physically hurt you just because they’d think you’d be abominable. But you had to commit suicide. The curiosity of what lied on the other side was much stronger than all the weight from those fears.

Suicide would give you the opportunity to play the game you wanted to play all your life. You knew very well that you had the winning hand and if your past experiences were any indication, luck would be on your side too.

What you never imagined when you committed suicide it was that you would not only win that game, but also open the floodgates to play in the big leagues and win them all. Even those you didn’t know existed, let alone how to play them. Those fears had no foundation. The daily feel of winning every game in life after your suicide is extremely satisfactory.

What Does it Mean?

I flip Chekhov’s idea on its head. To win what I have always wanted I had to commit suicide. After my suicide I would not only be able to do what I had always wanted, but also gave me the opportunity of doing things I had never imagined myself doing. Who would have ever thought of ballet classes?

7 thoughts on “Curiosity Beats Fear

  1. A very strong post – dealing with a big issue for trans people. Thank you for this. I hope everyone understands it’s a poetic reference to suicide – only the suicide of a prior identity. It is hard to gain a thing without giving up what it replaces … Thanks Franches

    1. Yes, you’re right Jo. I’m not talking about ending my life, but rather the end of my original gender expression/presentation.

      As you say, it’s a poetic reference. Personally I never saw the end of my original gender expression/presentation as killing that person. I’ve always seen it as a natural progression and evolution of the same person I’ve always been. Having said this, other people may see it as the death of their original identity to start a new one. And even in my case, some people may see it like that. Reminds me of a comment I once got: Death Suits You.

  2. That explication is useful to me. When I was a teenager, I had violent worries about transitioning, feeling that I was going to “kill” one side of me or the other. Now I get it, the idea of simply being authentic. That Jo is the “me”, and the rest is like a costume glued on the outside. Thanks for the vital way you put it!

    1. Thanks for your comment Jo. I believe it’s a matter of perspective. I never saw or thought of my personal process as something that would be violent. Much less as violent as “killing” a part of me or ‘my old self’. It is now that I’ve come to appreciate how someone may see it as comparable to suicide.

  3. Dear Franches, at first I saw the header “Curiosity Beats Fear’ – ‘A personal story based on a note by Russian author Anton Chekhov.”
    – Ahhh I’ll pass, not interested.
    – I’ll read other posts of yours, new and ones I’ll read again.
    Then again, your posts do not disappoint.
    Right away, I picked up what you were putting down, your original gender expression/presentation had to be killed off first in order for the new gender expression/presentation, your true self, could come to life.
    I’m wanting to transition from male to female, your Hola Soy Yo blog is a great help, thank you.

    1. Jean, as I’ve described in some of my comments on this post, I never saw my decision as killing my past or a part or me or ‘my old self’. TBH if I had thought about it like that, there’s a super high probability that I would have not initiated my process. I’m really proud of my past and my later accomplishments. In fact, I was so excited to begin that I never gave much thought of all the implications. Sure, I was terrified of rejection, but I knew that even if most people rejected me, I would be fine.

      Jean, whatever you decide to do or not do, I truly hope you’re at peace with yourself. One of the things I always had in the back of my mind, and even today to an extent, is that I can always go back if I don’t like what I’m doing. It’s not like making a decision to move forward is set in stone.

  4. Great to read both of your comment replies! Different perspectives, all valid. I realized yesterday, that I don’t even feel that I’m transitioning – that this person I am, has always been inside me forever. I’m just giving her more recognition. I’m not killing off any part of me – even the male experience will always be there. That makes me more at ease – when I was 15, standing in the mirror, I made a “pact”, an agreement between the “parts” of me – that each part agreed never to kill off the other. It was the only way to have a sort of peace in me, as I felt I couldn’t possibly transition then (there was zero support around for it then). So now finally – and Franches’ post helped make it clear for me – I can move, and yet … I am not failing the pact I made 🙂 Thank you both for writing.

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