Heroes

I have been quite lax in my writing of late and I need to get back on the wagon. In my last few posts I’ve been going through my life story, and got as far as my mid twenties. Basically after taking six months off to find myself I got a good job at an office, then got a better job in a call centre, along the way I broke a few hearts and learned to fly airplanes – as long as those airplanes are a Cesna 172. Ok now we’re all caught up 😀

A solid two thirds of recent TG related headlines have revolved around Bruce Jenner. I think that’s awesome, I didn’t know much about this person until very recently but I’ve come to respect and admire them a great deal. Their journey seems to have a lot of parallels with my own, in particular the near obsessive pursuit of masculinity and social isolation. I think it’s fantastic news that they’re conservative, a lot of people seem upset by this which confuses me just a little bit. My personal views are definitely left leaning, but Jenner being Republican means we have an advocate, someone who can dine beside the movers and shakers in the GOP and influence positive change. 

Anyway enough politics, for me Jenner is the latest in a line of people who have helped pave the way, personal and cultural heroes who have made my own transition infinitely easier. One such hero is the first transgender person I ever met. I don’t want to go into any detail out of respect for their privacy, but they have had a huge influence on my life and they were one of the first people I spoke with when I began my transition. They were kind enough to tell me about their personal journey and provide some insight into the social and medical landscape. 

Laura Jane Grace is a major factor in my decision to transition. It was while reading the Rolling Stone article ‘The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel’ that I had my epiphany, her story helped me realize it was possible to find the strength to live my truth. Also the story is pretty cool, basically the lyrics from one of Laura’s songs inspired a fan to transition, which in turn inspired Laura to transition. 

Christian Beranek, writer of Validation Comics. My life was in a strange place in late 2014. I was almost a year into a serious relationship that was quickly moving towards a turning point. This cute, down to earth webcomic gave me a lot of insight and relief, and really helped me sort through my own issues. The protagonist of the strip is a delightful young woman who just happens to be trans, it gave me perspective on the trans experience and made it all seem so normal.

Lavern Cox, really what needs to be said about Lavern Cox? She’s bold and gorgeous with a powerful message. 

Janet Mock is another name that deserves mention, I didn’t learn of her until a few months into my transition but her story is absolutely incredible. I would recommend her book ‘Redefining Realness’ for anyone looking to understand not only the trans experience but also concepts of intersectionality and privilege. Having lived my life as a heteronormative white male there are a lot of problems I’ve simply never had to deal with, and this book provides a fair bit of insight into a lot of things I’ve taken for granted. 

Everyone on WordPress. You, reading this right now, you are awesome, I seriously love every one of you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your own story. Stay strong and know there are people who care about you. 

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