Annie and James Rushden were man and wife, until James revealed he was transsexual. Annie writes about the experience of falling in love all over again with her partner Claire. Same soul, different gift wrap.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just a rant about how short life is.

Warning - I'm in a depressing space tonight.

I'm recovering from the shock and pain of losing a very dear friend. He was just 33. I have spent over a week now with crying jags that have left me wrung out like a sponge. It really drove home the fact that you can't put off life. And the part that really kills me was that his son was there when he died, and his son is so young and sweet. I can't imagine the pain and the guilt his son must feel at not being able to help his dad. It haunts me.

The big thing that made me desire to go ahead and take the big step to quit our steady government jobs and move to Atlanta was the fact that Claire started to have a fear of something happening and dying before should could ever realize her lifelong dream of being able to live--as Susan Stanton so perfectly puts it--an authentic life. As a volunteer firefighter, I certainly was keenly aware of the fleeting nature of life. Claire, who while in a law enforcement agency had to tend to gunshot victims, is also very realistic about it as well. It got to a point where an erratic driver or road rage incident would leave her really shaken.

That's why, in the space of a month, I steamrolled over her objections and found a new job that could cover our bills and moved us to Atlanta. I was tired of watching her have to play games - pretending to be someone else, hiding her true self, all until we could hit a magic spot of having paid off enough bills to survive her job loss if discovered. She would have done the same for me. Life is too short to hope for someday.

I have read a couple of books lately. Donna Rose's book Wrapped in Blue was the first one. We purchased it at SCC, and we bought, apparently, the last autographed copy that they had handy. She was there, but we didn't get to meet her. Jenny Boylan, on the other hand, was someone we did finally get to meet. She's as lovely and nice as she seems. But, I digress. Donna's book was great, but the story had parts that quite simply angered me.

See, I have a weakness. I really, really hate spiteful ex-partners. When I read about people that have a spouse turn violent or cruel simply because their partner faces the truth and deals with the big transgender weight on their soul, I get very angry. I get even angrier when I read of spouses using children as a weapon to hurt the trans partner. Unfortunately, as you know, that story is all too common. It seriously gets to me.

I understand that not everyone can deal with a trans partner the way I can. I do understand that. However, I can't stress enough that I just wish people could stop hurting each other over the trans issue. If you can't stay married, why be cruel?

I'll spare you my normal soapbox of why it is so damned important to start dealing with this before kids turn into adults and set themselves up for this sad story.

But the recent loss of this young, healthy, vibrant friend really shook me. I feel like I lost a brother. And in reading Donna's book--where she backpedals and pauses her transition--really made me wonder something. It made me wonder just how many people have put off transition hoping for the right time, for all the conditions to be perfect, or just because they fear the worst. I wonder how many of those have had something happen and never get to live their lives the way they should before they die.

I read Trans-sister Radio this week. It was a really good book. It is actually a novel, not a memoir. A good read, sensitive and respectful and also very warming, I have to say I couldn't put this one down. I love books that make me want my train ride to take even longer than normal. Anyway, I'd recommend this book. It was great.

Well, time to hit the bed.

Good night all, and make sure you tell your loved ones how much they mean to you every single day.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007