i've been re-reading (for no joke..the tenth time!) the book stone butch blues, by leslie feinberg.
this is one of my most treasured, cover worn, coffee stained, corner folded books. i'm about 10 pages from the end, writing this to procrastonate from having to close it again till the words drift enough from my memory to pull it out again and dive in.
stone butch blues follows the character jess through discovering the pre-stonewall bars of buffalo, discovering the femme-butch dynamic and learning from mentors. not an easy life, it chokes the reader up when jess and friends regularly get beaten by the cops that are supposed to protect them. jess pulls our heartstrings through relationships and the decision to transition to living as a man. isolation and loss accompany that decision and we read and read hoping jess will make it through with some hope left till the final pages.
i was reminded today that saturday november 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Many cities worldwide are having events to commemorate those who have been killed due to anti-transgendered hatred or prejudice.
All of the transgendered friends of mine are alive and most thriving in ways that would not have been possible or even imaginable during the era of 'stone butch blues'. Surgeries are covered by health coverage, communities are growing and diversifying. I'm not saying its at its peak though...i think there is lots of growth for the trans community to come. I'm grateful to be a part of this movement. There has been so much change even through the years since I began to learn about the trans community.
There is nothing planned in victoria, but i think i'm going to make an anscestral altar of remembrance. I'm going to remember the characters in sbb....Al, Ed, Grant, Frankie, Ruth because although they may be characters in a book, the experiences from which those characters came is real.
If anyone has not seen the movie 'Boys don't Cry', i highly recommend it. Its a hard movie to watch but it is the true story of the murder of Brandon Teena, a transgendered young man from small town nebraska.
I am grateful to be an ally of the trans community. It has changed me in ways I have yet to learn. Questioning our own gender identity is something everyone can to... we all have masculine and feminine aspects. Just like we have light and dark. I'm grateful to have watched my boys go through changes. The broadening of shoulders, the lowering of the voice. And as they changed I felt myself becoming more comfortable as a femme, returning to feeling empowered as a woman. Thats what it is about...feeling comfortable within your gender identity. whatever it may be.