Through Science to Justice

by Max Turner

TO: Jenna

FROM: Scotty 

SUBJECT: My Brother. YAY! 

My brother comes home tomorrow! Yay!

Here’s the thing with Will…

He’s been my brother for a long time, as long as I can remember, but tomorrow it’s official. Mostly according to him, but I’ll give him this one.

He wasn’t called Will when he was born but as he’s a few years older than me I don’t really remember that time all that much. I’ve only ever really known him as Will, my brother. 

He thinks that now he will officially be Will. But he _is_ Will, and tomorrow, November 20th 2018, he will definitely be Will by anyone’s measure. There are too many Wills in that sentence. Ha!

He’s been at the Gender Institute for six days which includes surgery and some recovery time. He’ll need some time to recover at home too, but our parents won’t let me have the time off school to help, despite my offering many, many times!

They say they’ve got it covered, I say they’ll drive Will mad with fussing. Pfft!

Besides we should be making this a big deal, because to Will it is a big deal.

A lot of his official documents have had his name and gender marker for a long time, but he told me this trip for him makes it all final and official. He doesn’t need this surgery to be who we all already know him to be, not for us, but I guess it was something he needed to do for himself, a milestone. It’s what he needs to be himself in his own skin. So tomorrow we will celebrate that I have a brother.

The waiting is really hard, because we’re close and I miss him. I know it’s only been a few days, but I’m excited to see him again, though I’ve already been warned not to jump on him with hugs as soon as I see him. He’s going to be sore and tender for a while yet. 

I’ve been so bored though, we hang out so much at home. My Mario Kart game is suffering. It’s not the same playing single player. 

I end up spending ages online, looking at really random stuff.

I fell down one of those internet rabbit holes last night, mostly because Miss Reynolds mentioned in History last semester about the Nazi Party and I got to thinking about what the world would have been like if they had actually risen to power in Germany. 

Did you know that they thought they were some sort of master race and wanted to purge many different people based on race and religion and even gender and sexuality? How insane is that? I found this really interesting paper by Magnus Hirschfeld who founded the original Gender Institute (the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft it was called), about his fears of what the Nazi Party would have done had they come to power. One of those scary ‘what if’ moments, I guess. 

I’m not sure I can imagine it. Would they have tried to stop people being gay or bi, or trans? Conversion therapy or sent to camps? Yeah, there were plans for these camps where the Nazis could send people they didn’t like! Thankfully they never got built once the Nazi Party was disbanded when that guy with the moustache died. I can’t remember his name, always makes me think of Charlie Chaplin. It’s definitely not Chaplin though! Hahaha!

What would it be like to live in a world with so much hate?

Maybe I’m just an endless ball of sunshine, because honestly I can’t even imagine what it was like to be around before gay liberation in the fifties! How was it ever a thing that people didn’t have equal rights because of who they were or who they loved? Madness!

It’s just so terrifying to think how my family might have been treated in a world like that. And instead Will was able to see a doctor and change his papers and have hormones and surgery and just be himself and be happy with a minimal amount of fuss! Just how things should be, right? Would that even have been possible in the crazy alternate reality where the Nazis rose to power? 

Oh! And also, did you know that the original Institut für Sexualwissenschaft opened in 1919?? They were advocating for women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights from the get go. It’s their centenary next year and all the Gender Institutes world wide will be having little celebrations and events. It’s going to be pretty awesome I think. Will is already talking about trying to get involved. I think we all should, I mean, it’s such an amazing thing to celebrate. A hundred years of queer positive history!

Anyway, all this is to say that no I haven’t started on the science assignment yet, but I promise I will get to it tomorrow or the next day. Do you want to catch up after school on Friday and we can go over it? I promise I’m not going to leave you doing all the work no matter what Sara might have told you about when we partnered together! 

Gotta go, the moms are calling me down for dinner.

Sorry for being so lame :-/

See you at school. 


Oh! P.S – I also found out that Magnus Hirschfeld had this awesome moto _“Per Scientiam ad Justitiam”_, which means “through science to justice”, and I thought that was pretty neat! I’ve written it on the front of my science book 🙂

Max Turner is a gay transgender man based in the United Kingdom. He is also a parent, nerd, intersectional feminist and coffee addict. Max writes speculative and science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, gothic horror and LGBTQ+ romance, and more often than not, combinations thereof.  Find more about Max’s writing at and follow Max on Twitter @robot_tiger