I've been getting quite a bit of email lately from people who seem stuck at that place so many of us know - early in our transition - where it's time to either move forward or get comfortable with where you are. Lord knows it's a terrifying, frustrating, lonely place to be and it's ground covered with a million tears. But it's a place we all need to get past in life.
Often, the reason we're there is that others tell us who we are (or, just as importantly, who we aren't) and we try our best to be that. If others could just step into our skin for a short while they might understand better, but they can't so it's easy to become confused and to lose ourselves.
There's a current song that sort of captures my feelings on getting past the point of letting others dictate to us who we are or how to be.
Sara Bareilles - King Of Anything
You've got opinions, man
We're all entitled to 'em
But I never asked.
So let me thank you for your time
And try not to waste any more of mine
And get out of here fast.
I hate to break it to you baby
But I'm not drowning
There's not one here to save....
Who cares if you disagree
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be
Who died, and made you the king of anything?
All my life I've tried
to make everybody happy while I
just hurt, and hide
waiting for someone to tell me
it's my turn
The bouncy tune can mask the powerful message of the the lyrics.
Good stuff. She's one person I think I'd like to actually meet.
From time to time I find video blogs that I enjoy following and I found one of a young trans-girl a few weeks ago that struck a chord. Each of us goes through a number of phases along the way. The problem is that some of us get stuck and can't get past the harder parts but that's a much longer discussion than I want to have now. One of the phases is the "F*ck what others think about me" phase. People don't seem to realize that they become trapped by trying to please others and end up losing themselves in the process. Here's the video blog post of what happens when you get to that stage:
She's got great facial expressions, and very expressive eyes. Anyway - no matter how far along you get in life you've got to get past that stage and Jesslyn expresses it so effectively. She plays a mean guitar, too (video here).
see it here).
There's also footage of a pilot ejecting from a fighter just before it crashed at an airshow in Canada.
I'm sorry - but that's just amazing.
I love dogs. I love animals in general. There are a couple of videos of a playful dog and a young deer that I really like:
Why can't people be like that?? Actually - they can. It's just disheartening when they choose NOT to be.
From that, to the latest news in the firefighter's widow "situation" in Houston where the widow's assets have now been frozen. (see the latest here) (and here).
This stuff is just hateful. I SO wish I could go there....
I hope these people are exposed as the greedy, self-righteous, hateful, bigoted people that they are. The more they open their mouths the more it becomes apparent why the EX- wife is now an ex. She's beyond mean and I hope that she gets everything that's coming to her. When I watch them I'm reminded of the scene in the movie "Million Dollar Baby" where Hillary Swank's character has broken her neck and her ignorant trailer-trash mother comes to have her sign some papers so that she can have all of Hillary's money.
If you've got the stomach for it, check this out, as well (see video). That caller, "John", is typical of the hateful cowards who think they can hide behind the anonymity of hateful phone messages or emails but who shrink when called to be accountable for their words and deeds.
As I said earlier, getting past the "F*ck what everyone else thinks" stage is critical if you're going to ever be yourself. And for transgender people, it can be especially difficult. But I'll tell you this - if there's a choice between hiding for fear of being identified as one of "them" or standing on the front lines and standing up for what's right I'll choose the front lines every time. As I've mentioned many times before - this is a culture war. And it's unfortunate that we have to fight for our very personhood simply to live our lives. But such is the way it is.