I am featuring my friend, Charissa from Charissa’s Grace Notes for this week’s Friday Fuzz. I met Charissa here in the blogging world and ever since our first encounter, my life has not been the same. Her impact has been that powerful- everything she writes is SO there….. (which is so incredibly articulate that I feel like a stuttering child in her presence). Her poetry is so beautiful and moving. Her prose is precise and powerful. Her personality is enigmatic, engaging, warm, charismatic….. She’s very cool.
When we first met, she was in the early stages of coming out in her real life. She was straddling two worlds and I have to tell you, I was blown away. I had witnessed my son try that as a college student (living in the girls’ dorm with a female roommate) and I knew it wasn’t easy.
Well, she is now fully Charissa. She’s got the all important documents. She is able to live as herself full time, not just on weekends or away from her hometown. And let me tell you, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Earlier this week I wrote- Handle With Care, a post in which I offer some advice to people who might have a transgender person in their lives. I’m sharing two of Charissa’s posts from earlier this week. They will give you just the smallest fraction of insight into WHY I wrote the post.
“people in my life get discouraged and frustrated with me because the next day is sometimes worse than the day before after 3 days of steadily increasing days of life and hope…”
I ache for Charissa and Kris and every single transgender person who feels this way. And I want to SHAKE those people who JUST DON’T GET IT! This isn’t a switch you turn on and POOF transitioning is over! There is a rant inside me that I’m keeping inside for now. For Kris it has been 3-1/2 years and it is not over. I don’t think it will ever be over. Maybe for some trans people, it does end and they just live happily ever after. I want that for Kris. I want it more than anything else. For most of us, it’s not that easy. When you are facing a stacked deck, relatives who look through you when they are the ones who you should be able to count on, discrimination and judgment, it’s harder.
“…I was called this today. It wasn’t malicious in intent…but it was vicious in result. Apparently this person had referred to me that way behind my back and felt guilty about it. So they confessed to me today…”
There is a girl. Let’s call her Shelly. Our families have known each other for years. Our kids are all the same age, went to school together, grew up together, participated in the same activities. Shelly is now 21 and works stocking shelves at Target. I’ve seen her there on more than one occasion and we would say hi in passing. About a year ago, she was working the register and we talked as she checked out my groceries. Totally unbidden, she said, “Oh, I saw Kerri or whatever she is,” in the most derisive tone and a smirk on her face. I get it. Kerri was a very unique teenager. (More unique than most of us realized.) I never knew what that kid was going to wear to school and more than once I asked, “Are you sure about this? You’re definitely making a fashion statement here.” Why did I even bother? The outfit was worn and I was regaled with a list of compliments received at the end of the day. Kerri was like that and I really want to believe that this is what Shelly was referring to….but in my heart, I knew the truth. I stood there and stared her down. I wanted to slap her. Her mother raised her better than that. And if it had been 8 years ago when we were closer, I might have called her mother. I walked away sick and mad and praying that no one ever did that to Kris’s face.
People need to realize-
A person’s right to transition in order to live in the body they were given is THEIR right and NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS.
EVERYONE has the right to live.
Thank you for being here- it means a lot to me!