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Left Behind

| Jan 26, 2015
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The ladies took time out from dancing to pose for a photo. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Bryant.

The ladies took time out from dancing to pose for a photo. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Bryant.

As I write this, there is a large party going on thirty miles/one hour away from where I sit. Jennifer Bryant’s Raven 23 party is in full swing with maybe 200 transpeople in attendance, including many friends of mine. I worked until eight tonight, and slid on ice coming home, so I determined that the risk wasn’t worth it. (Sorry Sandy!) Besides, I have this column to write.

So I sit with notebook in hand (later to be typed) working out my thoughts while the Philadelphia Trans community dances on without me. And believe me — I know I’m not missed. They are too busy having fun to notice my absence, as it should be.

As those who read this column with any regularity know, I am in transition. I’m ten months full time as a woman. I have made great strides since attending my first Raven party a few years ago. Many Philly area Transpeople measure their time using Laptop Lounges (twice a month) and Raven parties (every other month) as these are the only times they can get out and be their True Selves. I used to as well, but no longer. I am me all the time now. For better or Worse. Things Happen at these parties.

I met my beloved sister Lisa at The Raven three years ago. Sitting with me that night was my dear friend, the beautiful Victoria. Both have since Transitioned: Lisa to death and Victoria to full womanhood.

Leaving me in my state of perpetual in-betweeness.

I’ve told many people (and been told many times) that Transition is NOT a race. We all go at our own pace. Some people need to go slow, while others blast right through it. For example, two people in my therapy group who went full time long after me have already had FFS (facial feminization surgery) and changed their names. They had the bravery and financial wherewithal to do it.

How does that make me feel? I’d be lying if I said anything but Jealous. And Left Behind.

Sophie at The Laptop Lounge with friends.

Sophie at The Laptop Lounge with friends.

I WANT the fast track. My initial plan was to have FFS before going full time. But one thing was lacking: money. I’ve been unable to find a job that pays a wage where I can save money. Obviously I’m too lazy, right GOP? And then there’s spending money on things like Raven Parties and Laptop Lounges. (Have I mentioned I’m sitting at home while my sisters drink, dance, and make new connections?)

Our Gender Issues (are they issues?) are very personal to each of us. Some are content going out once in a while to express their femininity, if at all. Others, like me, need more. Many start once in a while but can’t stop the Woman inside from growing Beyond their Control. She soon asserts control. But this happens at a personal pace. I have friends who will never transition and some who have spent many years in the process. Then there are others who transition quickly.

Some don’t survive the process.

I’ve been told by some people that I am an Example to them. That they see me and think I’m doing it all the right way. In many ways I am. I’m following the Standards of Care. I am going at a pace that is comfortable. But am I an example? I sure as hell don’t feel like one.

Do Examples cry?

I’ve been rambling for a bit, and upon re-reading it sounds like pointless whining. Usually at this point I toss the piece and start over. But I guess that’s my point.

If I’m having such a “great time” at this, why do I cry? Why am I jealous of people who are brave enough to drive through the elements (or have the money to get a room) at the Raven while I sit at home. Why am I jealous of people who have advanced far past where I am in the process? That’s simple.

I’m Human.

And that’s what many people who look at us as Transpeople forget. We ARE human. We have feelings, and are often quite vulnerable. Last year at the Keystone Conference, I sat down for a drink with retired SEAL Kristin Beck and what impressed me most was her vulnerability. Despite so many people canonizing her as Superwoman, she is Human, and feel pain as much and more than we do.

We are Human, and we are Trans. Where does that leave us, my Sisters and Brothers? We are in a unique place among humanity. We walk between genders. Ours is the wisdom of women AND men. Native Americans called us Shamen.

But we are just Human.

So please pardon me as I cry into my Jack and Seven tonight. Damn Hormones. They make me cry easily. The night is freezing, and I won’t drive. My sisters spin and writhe on a dance floor so nearby, but I sit and write.

Tonight, my thoughts are with them, and with those we’ve lost.

Enjoy the Night when you can dear Sisters, and remember to take your time and Enjoy the Journey.

After all, we’re only Human, and our time is limited.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

Sophie Lynne

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