I met a man today, as a customer of mine he was rather ordinary. Slightly older than I, It was obvious from his military cap and upright bearing that in spite of walking with a cane in hand he was a man who knew exactly who he was and where he was going.
I greeted him warmly as I would any of my customers, I can’t say that I have ever had problems with members of the military but as a trans person I am always aware that we see the world in different ways.
We spoke, completely business like at first, then slowly as our conversation ranged farther afield, tiny glimpses emerged of the person underneath the no-nonsense West Point manners.
It seems that as different as we are, we have much in common.
I offered that I had looked my entire life for a community, for a place where I felt I belonged, that I had searched for the warmth and belonging that I felt on the street I grew up on, a place where I knew everyone and everyone knew me, where they could be counted on to be there.
He nodded in silent agreement and as his eyes began to look misty and far away, it was his turn. “One of my biggest regrets in life”, he said, “is that I don’t have any friends, I have lived for years in a house among several hundred houses and yet know only a couple of my neighbors by name.” It wasn’t supposed to be like this!
Where am I going with this? I am truly blessed, my life long search, and final acceptance of the person that I really am, has brought me here to the trans community, or as a friend of mine once said, “My Tribe”
I say to all of you, that this community is made up of the most wonderful, open, caring individuals I could ever imagine. Talented beyond belief, possessed of great gifts and the willingness to unselfishly share them. All this in the face of a world that would be happier if we just disappeared.
So yesterday I made a new friend, but
More importantly, he envies me your friendship.
You can all take a bow now.