today while reading through the voluminous emailed news stories to which i subscribe, it hit me. not unlike a bolt of lightning out of clear blue skies.
it really does get better!
cliche, to be sure. but no less accurate because it is. there have been literally hundreds of stories about progress made in attaining basic civil and human rights for the lgbt community. marriage being legalised in a number of states. bills and legislation being passed to protect against discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference and gender variance. there was a transgender beauty contestant, and the controversial case of recognising that a state cannot deny an imprisoned transgender person the right to have appropriate treatment provided.
there have been high-profile media events on talk shows and magazine type t.v. programmes such as 20/20 that have focused specifically on the subject of child and adolescent transgender people, like my beautiful daughter. in our personal life, no one in my family circle or even in our neighborhood thinks twice about referring to ziona with the proper pronouns. acceptance is seamless and utterly without strain these days. (it wasn’t always this way.) and it goes without saying that ziona is much happier than she was before she began to live outloud, our term for her social transition.
it does indeed get better it seems.
until it comes to this. as time marches steadily forward, we draw ever closer to that time when ziona will approach puberty. this will mean puberty blocker implants, blood draws to monitor hormone levels and eventually cross hormones so she can go through puberty as a girl. in addition, no matter how much more accepting society, friends and family might be of ziona, she naturally has difficulty accepting herself.
it must be so difficult, every time she has to go to the bathroom, to be reminded that nothing ‘down there’ is right. she can’t bear the sight of her naked body, so every bath is overfilled with bubbles, the better to obscure the unkind reality. and despite how better things might be in the world at large, for ziona, it will only be ‘better’ once she has had the surgery that will right the wrong of her ‘birth defect’.
altho she knows there’s nothing that can be done about it for now, she resents that fact, and often tells me, that the reason she doesn’t smile as much as other people is because there is always sadness about the being “a boy on the bottom”. and altho i know that nothing can be done about that for now, it fills me with a similar sadness at the betrayal her body seems to her soul. if i could wave a magick wand over her to make it alright i would of course. but for now we both are trapped by the circumstances.
i’m gonna admit something here. i almost wish sometimes that she weren’t transgender. but only because i know how hard life is for her now. and because i fear that despite the leaps and bounds of progress that seems to be happening in society at large, life will be hard for her even after the surgical gender alignment, and throughout her later life too. i know that despite the legisation and increased awareness in the world, people can be cruel, hate and ignorance can’t be legislated away, and many folk cleave to those parts within their religious traditions which seem to them to justify rejecting and fearing people like ziona. even in the larger LGBT community there are some who will take issue with her, and feel righteous about judging her as less than a ‘real woman’.
so yes, i admit that i wish ziona didn’t have such things, such hurdles and hardships, ahead of her. but i also wish she didn’t have autism or juvenile polyposis syndrome.
it is what it is.
despite these things i wish were otherwise, paradoxically, i wouldn’t change her for the world! instead, i will go out of my way, exercising whatsoever powers i can muster, to change the world for her!