A few months ago, I got a call from an old high school friend who I’ve only seen twice since transitioning my gender. He’s always been a very close friend and is accepting, as far as I can tell and what his actions have proven, although he has kept in touch far less often than before I transitioned. But in all fairness, he has made an effort to keep in touch and he reached out to me for a get together.
I agreed to it.
We ran some errands together and then went to my new place to relax, and he congratulated me on taking the initiative to move out.
But then some questions came about if I was dating anyone, and I told him it has been difficult to date due to safety concerns, my own fears, and that I’m not quite ready yet to date men again (despite dating multiple people since 2011, including men). The truth is, I want to be in a better place and more stable/solid and have something more to offer before I venture out there again. He didn’t seem to get that and he kept going on about how great his relationship with his fiance is and how he wants to start a family. He then concluded with a statement that went somewhat like: “And I can see how hard it is for you. When we went outside today, people were staring at you from afar and they didn’t start shit or do anything but I can see how being read as trans can wear you down in time.”
Gee, thanks a lot. And I’m one of the beautiful ones, according to him? Get the fuck out of here.
I let that one statement deflate me. I let it take all the air out of my sails, and I got incredibly jealous that he could have a “normal” (I hate that fucking word) marriage and relationship and I have to decide when and where to tell my future partner, if and when the time comes to date.
Part of me desperately wants to just live like a hermit, a recluse, in my new place, plant veggies in the backyard, and say fuck dealing with the world. Fuck interaction.
But to me that would feel unacceptable. It would feel like I waved the white flag. And that’s so not me.
But I’m tired of fighting. Of constantly having to stay strong to live and fight another day. I just want to lay down and rest in peace already.
The other part of me wants to continue fighting for equal rights. And be active, be social, be happy, interact with meaningful people and touch some lives. I know I’ve written some of these sentiments before.
I know I am and can be a wounded healer, a ShamanGal. My wounds don’t define me, but they are a valuable aspect of my history that provide plenty of wisdom for me to serve others and help others in the time of need. And that truly is a noble cause.
I went to visit my mom afterwards, and my niece, Sasha, who is almost 3 years old, was wearing the cutest tutu dress and came up to me and said “I missed you. You’re back!” And she hugged me.
I literally broke down. On so many levels it was overwhelming. It was the biggest rush of simultaneous emotions I’ve felt in quite some time. I was so jarred upon returning, but her genuine, simple actions laced with pure intent, completely stripped me of any anger, disappointment, and sense of loss. She was nothing but pure acceptance, no judgment. She showed her love and affection towards me with unbridled and unbiased ways. It was so beautiful.
I hugged her and could only imagine that what I felt at that moment was similar to what parents felt when they’ve had a rough day, and upon returning home, the power of their innocent child dissolving the memory of a hard and bad day, reminded them that their real priorities were intact. That everything truly is okay, no matter what the loss, what the scoreboard may say.
It made me wonder if that moment will define the closest I’ll ever get to standing side by side with the feeling of what it feels like to be a parent. To have something so undeniably special, someone in the world that can take away any pain by simply being themselves. And Sasha herself, seeing me for who I am, appreciating and loving me for who I am, without the societal labels imprinted in her mind yet.
There was such a beautiful exchange of care, it forced me to deal with all the other emotions that were trapped behind my defenses. She melted the first wall and everything subsequently had to follow suit. I cried for a while, just letting myself feel the anger, the anguish, the loneliness, the despair, the regrets, and the joy, the fondness, the love I have for this child as she somehow was able to turn my afternoon of emotional mess into something that seemingly made some sense and reminded me that the hope had never left.