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I Am Chronologically Discriminated Against
OPINION 10/06/2039 2:05 AM ET
I Am Chronologically Discriminated Against

Jean DeLoit
Marquis du Laureac

CC BY 4.0 DSC_0979_pp by Walter | Writer image was sourced from aforementioned link. | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
Me at a medieval fair last year.
Ever since I was a child, I knew I was not who I was raised as.

My first recollection of feeling this way was when I was six, and my parents called me "Jeffery". I knew this wasn't my name. I didn't know what my name was, but that it was not "Jeffery". Jeffery was someone else I did not know. This was my first awakening.

When I was eight, my parents were taking me to my grandmother's house, and I had a second awakening. They tried to make me wear shorts, and I resisted. I resisted stubbornly, until they gave up, because I knew that I was not the sort of person who wore shorts.

At eleven, I had my third awakening: I was at school, watching the children play some sort of game with a ball, and I knew I did not fit in. I didn't know why, but remaining aloof, even above, the other children fit me more than did being around and among them did. It was as though they were of another world than I.

During my freshman year of high school, we learned about the French revolution in history, and something in me connected with that time and that place. I immersed myself in the history of the French people, I ate and drank it, I breathed it. The culture and the people and the society.

I could recite the kings like other children could recite their favorite sports teams' players. I learned French and spoke it as often as I could, honing my accent and vocabulary with French friends online. This was my fourth awakening.

When I was sixteen, what I refer to as my enlightenment, occurred. I was sitting in my high school's cafeteria and staring at my tray. Some kind of pasta dish, an orange, a roll and a pudding stared back at me. I knew - I just knew in my bones - that I was not this person, who would sit here, and eat this food, and talk to these people, and live in this culture.

It will certainly sound laughable to some, but I knew I was of a different time and place and standing.

I came out to my parents the next day, as Jean DeLoit, Marquis du Laureac. I told them I was a sixteenth century French Lord (more precisely, born September 23rd, 1585).

My parents could not bring themselves to understand me and I left home. Several times. When I reached the age of eighteen, I found an entry-level job in an office, moved away from my parents for good, and spent the next few years studying online. French History. I'm now fifty-one and have spent most of my life hiding my true self.

I do not exist in the history books as my correct identity, because I was not born in the course of the history we know. I am of a branch in the chronological tree. I identify as Le Marquis and ask anyone who speaks to me to address me as such and in the third person. I do not ask anyone to call me sire or "my lord", as I do not desire confrontation.

I also abstain from wearing traditional Renaissance clothing one would expect of a French Lord, except around the house. When I first transitioned I attempted to wear the clothing of the time and status with which I identified, but I was repeatedly mocked - and once beaten - and so now I dress appropriately to this time. I carry a French accent which I drop when I suspect it will lead to confrontation.

There is a name for the identity condition I was experiencing as a child. In the preceding decades we have seen members of society struggle with gender dysphoria, racial dysphoria, and lately species dysphoria.

My condition is referred to as chronological Placement Dysphoria - or CPD, a feeling of being in the wrong time. A side product of this is also Role Heritability, which refers to the fact that most CPD sufferers don't merely identify as belonging to a different era, they also identify with a position, or role in that era. For me it is as a nobleman.

I attend a therapy session of other CPD sufferers, some of whom have transitioned and some of whom have not. We have a Roman legionary, a peasant girl from the dark ages, an ancient Greek poet and two astronauts, one from the next century, and another from a thousand years ahead. CPD affects people both backward and forward in time.

It's simple to refer to "chronies" as crackpots, who need to be medicated in the same way someone with depression or anxiety or schizophrenia needs to be medicated. But we're not sick; we're just trapped in the wrong time.

We will make every effort to succeed in the time period we have been born into, but we know we are of a different time period. Our demands usually end in how we are to be addressed. Some of us who believe we are members of a past (or future) military may insist on calling you "sir" or "ma'am". You may need to deal with cultural differences you wouldn't necessarily expect.

There have been theories in the "chronie" community about having been abducted by aliens and returned either deliberately or accidentally, to the wrong time period, and other such things. I take no position on these theories. It really isn't worth thinking about because it doesn't change anything for us.

The fact is we should not be living as people we are not in a society we did not choose to be born into.

I want to express that people with CPD are not prone to violence or to other dangerous behaviours. The little research that has been done points to exaggerated alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, eating disorders, depression and suicide, vis-à-vis the general population. We do not generally attack people unless we're severely provoked.

We deal with a lot of insensitivity on a regular basis. Each Halloween, we're forced to endure wave after wave of people essentially pretending to be CPD sufferers. Every fancy dress party is another excuse to be mocked. I work with people who whisper things in French at me as I pass. If I receive a package at home, I'm usually greeted with a look of either amusement or derision by the courier.

It's time we were able to live with the dignity due us. I believe the world needs to know about this condition and how it can properly exercise care and sensitivity to those of us struggling.

You can come alongside someone you think has CPD, with compassion and understanding. Ask them if they're okay. If they indicate they are not coping, help them get treatment.

It may save a life.
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