For Julie

| Apr 18, 2016
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I had something in mind to write, but I hadn’t written it yet. I usually write out everything longhand in advance, then type it in (I think I mentioned that before, either here or in my blog) but not tonight. I had a piece about the Bathroom bills in mind, but something caused me to change course. This piece is being typed right from my head into the computer… unfiltered. (Except for the expert editing by my fearless editor!)

Bruce Springsteen, in the song Atlantic City, sang “Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact.” And the Boss is right. All living things die. We are mortal. Occasionally, we are reminded of that fact. I used to be a paramedic when I was in my late teens/early 20s. At a time when people think they are indestructible, I was painfully aware of my mortality.

Most of us have lost people in our lives. Family, friends, lovers. It’s part of our lives; we mourn and keep on keeping on.

This morning, I learned that a friend of mine was found dead. Julie was a GG, and much younger than me. I met her because she was a fan of my “guy blog” which started on MySpace. She was in high school then. We’d talk either through texting or phone a couple times a month. I saw her as the little sister I never had.

She went to Temple University, where she majored in Education. While there, she fell in with a guy who hooked her on heroin. After a rough time, she finally cleaned up, but it cost her a career. After college she bounced from job to job, place to place.

When I transitioned, she was super supportive. She helped me along with wardrobe questions, as well as other issues.



When Linda and I moved to Norristown, she lived maybe 10 blocks away. She even came to the apartment once, but I was at work. You see, that’s the thing — we talked and texted . . .  but I never met her face to face. Now I never will.

This morning, I awoke and checked facialbook and there were many messages asking if anyone had heard from her. Eventually, through a mutual friend, I discovered that the “coroner had her” but that’s all he knew. Julie was dead. No one knew why. Some speculated some sort of diabetic issue, others figured she ODed. We won’t know for a while.

In any case, she died alone. Many people fear that — dying alone. No one there to comfort you as you take your final breath. My dearest friend Lisa died alone. Suicide by definition means dying alone, unless you do something very public like jumping off a bridge. I’m not afraid of dying alone. I’m fairly sure I will. And that’s fine.

What’s my point? What does this have to do with being TG? Its simple — we in the trans community lose people often. We Die at a horrendous rate, be it due to murder or suicide. And who is left to mourn?

Think about your friends and loved ones. Do they know how you feel about them? When was the last time you got together with them? What has gone unsaid?

Say it. Do it. Tomorrow they may be gone, and they aren’t coming back. And your love may even keep them alive.

Tonight, I saw my daughter, and I hugged her tightly. I didn’t want to let her go. She keeps me alive. I told her I love her. If nothing else, so she knows how I feel.

Tell your loved ones how you feel. Keep them close.

Be well.

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Sophie Lynne

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