Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Familiar and Comfortable

One thing I enjoy - burgers.  Good burgers.  By "good" I mean Five Guys kinda good.  It doesn't need to be fancy...it just needs to be good.

Another thing I enjoy - half-priced food.  And, cool people.

So, it's no surprise that most weeks when I'm in town I try to go to a place nearby that has half-priced burgers on Tuesdays.  It's one of those simple things that has become familiar and comfortable.  I've been closely watching my diet so tonight's splurge was especially pleasant.

On another topic - but related - I still get quite a bit of email from people dealing with gender "stuff".  Most are in the early stages and remind me of me.  Scared.  Confused.  Not wanting to accept, or believe.  Afraid of losing everything in their lives.  I've been there.

The fact that I've crossed that chasm continues to amaze me.  But I'll tell anyone who asks that being trans is inherently a tough life.  It just is.

I read the story today of a Toronto transman who recently took his own life (story here).  I can't tell you how sad I find those things, and how scary too.  One paragraph in this story hits particularly close to home:
...Depression, hopelessness and suicide are very real issues for trans people and Kyle’s death has and will continue to hit the community very hard; take care of yourself and each other at this time and if you are feeling distraught please call a friend, go to your emergency department, or call a distress line." Author S. Bear Bergman reminded the Torontoist that community leaders like Scanlan sometimes face special challenges in seeking help: “I worry that Kyle, a guy who was such a helper-of-all, may ultimately have found himself, in a brutal moment, feeling like there was no one he could turn to because in all his relationships, the current of help moved from him to others.
I never really thought of it like that.  But I can see how that can happen.

So, on evenings like tonight when I enjoy a burger because it's familiar and comfortable, I can't help but appreciate it.

I don't know if it's somehow related, but one friend who I typically only see at conferences wrote to me last week and we had a fairly deep "chat".

To me:  You are someone I respect a great deal and always have.  I don't have  many heroes but you are one of them.  Your toughness has always been, to  protect not only yourself, but those who cannot protect themselves.  I've  always thought this toughness is just a cover for the pain you feel and the tears you  hide.

My response:  I think you're probably correct with regards to "toughness".  It's a double edged sword.  I don't know that it's a cover so much as a defense mechanism.  Be that as it may, it also comes in handy when I deal with my own vulnerabilities and pains, and the pains of others.  The guard does come down from time to time, but that's something that thankfully usually only happens when I'm alone....

Fairly profound stuff, but all true.

Here's the trailer from a movie featuring a number of people I know and have worked with over the years (website here):

As a community we've come a long way.  But still a long way to go...

I've been reminiscing quite a bit lately.  I'm not sure if it has anything to do with my upcoming HS Reunion or not, but it's pretty intense.  A couple of days ago I passed the 13th anniversary of my FFS with Dr. O in San Francisco (my FFS page).  Crazy.  I found the girl I asked to my Sr. Prom on FB this morning and with a mild level of trepidation I wrote to her - wondering if she'll write back,

I'm not sure exactly what the threat through all of this means.  But it's evidence that my life sure isn't boring these days..


1 comment:

Sophie Lynne said...

A Good burger is a beautiful thing.

The best will always be In N Out. 5 Guys is really good though.

A place near me called "Kildares" has a great burger as well.

I see "toughness" as protection and as a danger. One needs to be hard to "suffer the slings and arrows" and sometimes being Hard isn't enough. People break.

The danger of Toughness is detatchment. using it as a wall to keep people away. That leads to isolation, both from self and others. that also leads to people breaking.

It's a fine line.

One I have yet to master.