| Mar 24, 2008
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I’d planned on doing this month’s article about terminology, or as some of us call them, “labels.” But I really don’t feel like engaging in transgender politics after the events of the last few days.

lookback.jpg No, nothing personally is wrong, but one of my children is facing a new and challenging experience. A friend she has known for virtually her entire life died today after collapsing in the school cafeteria. He had a congenital heart problem that cut short his young life. Moreover, this young man had been raised by his grandmother and could well have been a bitter troublemaking dead ender—but he was just the opposite. As one of my daughter’s friends said “he didn’t deserve this. He never hurt anyone! He was always so nice and kind. Why HIM?!” Indeed, how can anyone answer that; it’s not fair nor is it understandable, nor explainable.

So why am I writing about this here? It’s not for sympathy, but to find a meaningful lesson in this tragedy. And that lesson is that no matter how bad we have it struggling with our gender issues (and I don’t pretend that my struggles in that area are anywhere nearly as severe as most of you out there), there are always things that people are experiencing that are even worse. Keeping that in mind helps keep things in perspective. Reaching out to those in need also helps me to feel a unique sense of meaning, purpose and connectedness to humanity. And primarily seeing the grace, dignity and courage with which others face trials that I imagine would reduce me to an emotional wreck helps me keep a perspective that helps me find strength to deal with the issues—which suddenly seem rather less significant—in my life.

Perspective, maybe that’s the only benefit that can come from the all too untimely death of an innocent. Maybe that—and the renewed resolve to cherish those we love and respect those around us—is the only real tribute that the living can offer in such a circumstance to honor the deceased. Maybe, sadly, it takes a tragedy to force us to look at our concerns as just one thing and not the only thing in life.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

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Comments (4)

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  1. angela_g angela_g says:

    Point taken. We will encourage our authors to set up their Profiles.

  2. says:

    Hi Stephanie, what a timely article for me and I know others. This is that time of the year (Northern March) when little things really seem to get us down. I have had some medical and gender issues that have just consumed me. Your article was perhaps the slap I needed to look beyond to all that is right in my life. Thank you and perhaps all of “us” need to reach out sometimes and help. A smile, a nod of approval, a hug, thank you letter are all things we can do without much effort to help.

  3. says:


    As a follow up to my post to Angela … and as a bit of inspiration for your next contribution. I, for one, would love to know more about Stephanie’s relationship with her daughter … or does your daughter not know about Stephanie?


  4. says:

    Note to Angela, I think, more than to Stephanie,

    Moved by this sweet, sad little nugget of a wonderful essay, I, with some effort, went and found a couple of Stephanie’s earlier pieces. I wasn’t surprised to find myself doing two things: (1) kicking myself for having missed them earlier; and (2) being delighted to have found them now.

    Luckily, I found an essay from Stephanie in which she introduced herself to readers of this venue.

    Which brings me to my point. At one time, TGForum had a little profiles section devoted to its contributors. I do think that should be re-instituted … or at least, all contributors should be sure that they have a members profile filed. I don’t think that I am alone in wanting to know a bit more about the authors we enjoy.

    Cheryl Ann “Cassie” Sanders
    Alan Barrie

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