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New England Transgender Pride March: Thoughts from a straight ally

I discovered this thought-provoking blog post from Jendi Reiter:

The first-ever New England Transgender Pride March took place this weekend in Northampton, and I was there with my “Episcopal Church Welcomes You” rainbow tank top and a digital camera to capture the pageantry. I was hoping to blend into the MassEquality contingent, but they were scattered around other groups this time, so I just milled around looking like I knew what I was doing, and took lots of pictures. Next thing I knew, someone had handed me a bunch of purple and white balloons, and I was marching behind the lead banner, shouting “Trans Pride Now”.

Go read the whole thing! You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

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Happiness

Ok, so I have finally decided that the time was right for me to step up and say something here.  

Why are so many of us so afraid to feel happy?  It is guilt?  Is it that nagging feeling that everything is in the process of falling, or about to fall apart?  Do we worry so much about everyone else that we lose sight of ourselves through all of this?

Yes, transition is a stressful and often painful thing.  But why do we do it?  To be ourselves of course, but also to find personal happiness.  I find that far too often we spend the majority of our time talking about the negatives of transition and how bad things are either for ourselves or the others around us.  I’m not discounting the fact that many people lose everything to this, but in the end are we not happier than when we began?  And if not, why?

I can truly say that before transition I did not know what happiness really was.  I may have thought I did, but I really didn’t.  If I recall all of the times I thought I was happy, none of them hold a candle to how I feel now.  Now before I go on I should probably mention a few things for those who don’t know.  I’m 33 years old, MTF, been transitioning since September 2007, and have been on HRT for 7 weeks.

In the last week or so I have begun to see the world in a different way, and begun to thing differently about things.  Difficult to articulate all that I feel right now, but the overriding thing has been the tremendous amount of joy and happiness I am feeling.  Granted I have been much happier than ever before since beginning transition, but the last little while has been completely off the scale.  

It feels like living inside joy.  As if joy itself were something tangible that you could just reach out and grab!  I have my share of challenges and difficulties through all of this, but I am so happy with my life now that is doesn’t get me down for very long anymore.  I see my future, and its very bright.

People have often accused me of seeing things in an overly positive light.  To that I say, “Why not?”  Keeping a positive attitude about things has truly saved my life.  I wake up everyday and tell myself how amazing it is to be alive, and how great the day is going to be.  And you know what?  It usually is.

Take today for example.  I was standing in the flower section of my local supermarket looking for fresh flowers for my Mom when I was approached by a very nice man who, to make a long story short, told me I was beautiful and asked if I would be interested in grabbing a coffee with him at the cafe in the store.  Now even though I turned him down, it made my whole day to get that kind of attention!  It let me know that I really have arrived and my path is the right one.

So I say take the time to feel the happiness and joy that transition brings to you.  After suffering through all the dark years that we do, I think we deserve to let ourselves be happy.  Don’t let the fear and guilt stop you.  Life is too short for that.  Don’t you agree?

My Greatest Burden, My Greatest Gift by Marti Abernathy

In a recent email I received, someone wrote “When love is good, life is good.” It reminded me of how I felt after finding love for the first time after my ex-wife. My ex was the “the love of my life.” When we married, I never expected us to part. Our relationship lasted for 10 years, then things fell apart. That experience of loss reminded me of the the Hindenburg. I spent the next 4 years feeling like a charred piece of rubble. In December of 2004, I found love when I least expected it. Meeting Ellen and finding that fire in my soul again totally refreshed and renewed my spirit. It’s when I wrote the tag line for my personal blog, Marti Abernathey.com, “Breathing is existence, but loving is living.”

One of the biggest hurdles for me in keeping love (in the past) was looking for love from others, before I believed I was worthy of it. No matter how many people told me they loved me, I just couldn’t believe it myself. I felt different, I felt ugly, I felt… wrong.

There are many times I wonder if I did the right thing by transitioning. The more I get into different theories (feminist and otherwise) the more it’s made me analyze my thoughts and feelings about why I’m trans and why I transitioned. In every step of the process I’ve always felt it was right. It reminds me of Christ’s words in the bible about bad trees not producing good fruit, and good trees producing bad fruit.

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matthew 7:17-18”

My life, my spirit, and my essence have found a peace and a focus I’ve never felt before, since I’ve been aware of my existence as a human being. The rock of that joy and the goodness of that tree is something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe.