Feeling awkward and vulnerable - smiling because I was told to do so.
All grown up - camping on the beach in Hawaii - happy in my self.
As a gender variant lesbian (if you need some labels to get on with) growing up in the 60's and 70's in middle class Canada, I have an understanding of desperation and relentless persecution. I am glad I have chosen life despite the name calling, the beatings, the abuse and the vitriolic hate. I remain scarred but strong, hurt but strong. I am whole and beautiful in each physical, mental and spiritual metamorphosis of my changing self.
For the new year, may each of us commit to walking a path of love and kindness with ourselves and one another. May not another one of us be taken by hate.
Earlier this week, I sent out the following tweet and Facebook post as an acknowledgement of the loss of ANOTHER teenage soul, Leelah Alcorn.
Do not think me
this nor that,
him nor her.
I am but a vessel
for perfect love.
I could go on about how we need to learn to accept one another in each moment of our perfect lives and how each one of us have things we wish we could wear on the outside that we keep hidden so tightly within us, but I honestly think that these five lines sum it up - no matter who you are. Be in love with your soul and care for the vessel in which it resides. If the vessel needs changes in order for you to live healthier or more at peace within it - change it. Support each other down your life paths. Listen and love. It is not for us to change or "fix" another. We are all perfectly capable of deciding who we want to be in each moment of our journey. Do not let fear guide you, rather, let love. For Leelah's sake, and the sake of so many others, learn about human sexuality, gender and sex. These are not one thing. Explore your self. Allow your self space to be, to feel and to expand with each breathe.
There have been many articles about Leelah's life and suicide in the past week. This is one:
This year, let love be the engine on your train and courage be your caboose. Let the fuel that propels us be the power of collective love. Above all, embrace and enjoy the journey of this gift of life.
If you are suffering like Leelah did, there is help.
PFLAG - http://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/index.html
Trans Lifeline - http://www.translifeline.org/ US - (877) 565-8860 / CAN (877) 330-6366
Transgender Europe - http://www.tgeu.org/
Gender Spectrum - https://www.genderspectrum.org/
These are but a few - if you are reading this from your place in the world, please add more resources in the comments. If you are a child or teen considering ending your life, please call:
Kids Help Phone - http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/ 1 (800) 668-6868
Me and my mum - Cape Cod
Me as "more me" with short hair, playing on the beach all day
Me a few years ago - at work. A magnet with the French "Adore" attached to my glasses!
Me. Just me. :-)