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| Aug 10, 2015
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A couple of weeks ago, one of my dear friends, Amy, had her GRS done by Dr. Christine McGinn. Last weekend, I visited Amy at Gaia House, the recovery house for Dr. McGinn’s practice. Amy was in great spirits and enjoyed having visitors after her successful surgery.

During the visit, another person staying at Gaia house stopped in. She was from Texas, and was there for her one year checkup. She and Amy discussed how much leakage they experience in the groin area after the surgery. The Texan said that a genetic girl (GG) once told her “Welcome to womanhood — it leaks down there!” All of us enjoyed a good laugh, including the GG who I’d brought with me (an old high school friend, Jackie.) Jackie confirmed this as the truth.

So I had that to look forward to someday, hopefully. If I can ever get the money. Maybe I could sell my kidneys?

Anyway, I thought about it. There are so many things about being a woman that I haven’t yet learned — things that GGs take for granted. For example, when I get home from a long day at work, I take off my bra and massage my boobs which are free from their long confinement. I mentioned this to some GGs at work, and they laughed. They do the same thing! Apparently it’s very common. So those of who want to/are growing breasts have that in your futures.

I thought about that for a while. The next day was August 3 — my dearest friend Lisa Empanada’s birthday. Those who follow this column and/or my blog know that Lisa killed herself almost two years ago. To mark the day, I went to Baltimore, Maryland to visit the site of her death, and to spend time with her widow. I was on my way home from Baltimore as the sun set on that beautiful summer day, and I reflected on what I said to Lisa at her death place (yes, I still talk to her. It’s a one sided conversation.) And I thought about Leaks.

Lisa's site

Flowers at the site

If having a vagina is about leaks, what about all of womanhood? And by extension, being a transwoman?

Our Lives leak. When we come out, we “leak” friends, as they drip away from us, either slowly or in groups. We still keep some of these old friends, of course. Some. Not many. We really discover who our true friends are.

Many of us leak family as we are disowned by parents, spouses, children. I’ve been so very lucky that this hasn’t happened to me, but it has happened to so many close to me. My gorgeous roomie and bestie Linda Lewis was disowned by her parents and youngest sister. Her story is by far more common than my own parental experience.

And as I drove in the sultry twilight, I thought more about leaks. Slow leaks. Sometimes noticeable, sometimes not. I thought about my life. And I thought about Lisa.

When Lisa died, part of me died. It was like a large part of my soul had been blown to pieces, leaving a gaping hole. And my Life was leaking out of it. I could think of nothing but her death — and how much her life meant. How unfair it was to everyone she knew, and to those that she had yet to meet. I was letting my life ebb away. I seriously contemplated following her. I was going to follow. But I didn’t. My daughter’s love helped heal the hole. My therapist (Dr. Osborne) and my friends helped repair the hole, and helped slow the leak.

And as the night surrounded me, I re-entered Pennsylvania, my home state. And I thought about what lay ahead of me. I thought about the plans I had coming up — about seeing my dear friend Ally on her birthday in a week or so. I thought about my Wife and daughter, who lived within a mile of my apartment, and all I had to look forward to in sharing their lives, in whatever way I can.

With Linda

With Linda in New Hope

Waiting back at the apartment was my bestie, Linda Lewis. What would we do that night? Watch a movie? Play a video game? I found that I looked forward to getting back to the apartment to spend time with her. If I had blown my head off as I planned, she would’ve been homeless in Michigan — possibly dead herself. And I thought about the hole Lisa left in my soul. It will always be there. I will always honor, love, and miss her. But the leak from that hole has stopped; and a major reason for that was a person I never would have expected on that horrible September day back in 2013. Linda Lewis is not Lisa Empanada — never was and never will be. There was only one Lisa. And there’s only one Linda. Her friendship has done so much for me — I’ve learned from her, and not just about makeup (in which field she is an expert.) She’s been a mentor to me and a guide as I navigate my life as a full time woman. I owe her so much.

There’s an old cliché that says when life closes one door; another opens. Well, it’s true. It’s true. Lisa left us. Door closed — never to be reopened. But I opened a new door, and Linda was there. For which I am eternally grateful.

All lives have leaks. Some more than others. I’ve learned that one person can never plug all the holes. That’s why we have friends. That’s why we, as Transpeople, have a community. None of us are in this alone. And so, while there will always be leaks, we shall not sink.

Be Well.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

Sophie Lynne

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  1. GR8LegsNJ GR8LegsNJ says:

    Hi Sophie,
    I just wanted to say hello. I too was a member of Dr. Osborn’s group, but many years ago, Christine was a member of the same group. If you wish to maybe get a new friend, please write to me.

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