Compassion, Trans Youth, Voice

Don’t lose the plot line.

How is your stress level? I am all over the place.

Who would have thought: a cousin just celebrated his second covid birthday. Today on NPR the warnings for young adults about variants are very serious. I bought new masks and filters yesterday; a mask wardrobe emerges. The cherry trees are in full bloom, but we are banned from the famous gardens: these same gardens were packed with people last weekend. So far this week I have gotten together, in person, with two friends I have not seen in fourteen months; I was seriously worried whether or not I could both hold a worthy conversation and a glass of wine. I am getting lax about hand washing. My new PT is as young as my youngest. I am still awake at all hours of the night, fretting. I am fully vaccinated. Something terrible is happening to trans youth. While it is tempting to pull the covers over my head, I cannot.

I cannot lose the plot line: every day when I think that maybe it is time to relax, the reality of the obstacles still in place daunts me — but I MADE IT THIS FAR and will be damned if I slip now. Hear me.

News continues to contradict itself; effectiveness, reliability, availability. I cannot take my eye off the goal: all of us healthy, together, hugging. All of us who’s sanity has been tested as far as we will ever be, soon sitting close together, sharing empathy and stories. Check in with the strong people you know, not just the ones that confess the dark spaces. They will be suffering too, just really, really good at being strong. Listen to their voices.

For comic relief: my cousin and I agreed to order some linen dress off an Instagram ad last November — really — and four dresses for fifty dollars arrived months later off a container ship (maybe the infamous one), sized to fit twelve-year-olds. We have not stopped laughing. If that isn’t a symbol of covid desperation. That, and a cupboard full of pasta.

Go ahead and use your outside voice: about what you love, what you miss, what you are angry with: today I raise my voice in disbelief at the sweeping laws being proposed to prohibit trans youth from seeking the care and support they need to be human beings. Haven’t we learned anything from this pandemic? We are all vulnerable animals of flesh and blood, no one better or less vulnerable to the virus than the other. That we come in all shades and sizes and bodies, not one better or more worthy than the other. We are all worthy.

That discrimination in any form kills; from neglect, from brutality, from privilege, from fear.

Eye on the end game, people. To come out alive and well, in all our individual beauty.

I miss you all.

A.

Yes, I took the photo in a traffic jam.

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