on my front porch are many different life-forms. some animal, some plant, even some fungi! among the animal kingdom residents are anole lizards. these lovely little green lizards, besides ridding my grapevines and other plants of nasty little insects, offer hours of entertainment watching them.
they manoeuvere the tangle of grapevine branches, leaping from leaf to leaf with all the ease of a marvel superhero at once astounding and comical. their swiftness when lashing out to capture a fly or other insect that dared be in the proximity is amazing.
the males bloat their brightly colored throat pouches whilst showing off their prowess with a serious of push-ups. the females put on their most aloof attitude, glance at them, then scurry away. whether for pleasure or pure necessity these creatures loll around, basking in the sun without a care in the world. or so it seems.
actually, they do have a few worries. – predators! – for which reason they have evolved a most effective weapon.- hiding.
while perching upon the broad grape leaves, they are the beautiful green color normally associated with their species. while resting on a branch of my red,ornamental japanese maple they assume a dull henna color, and clinging to the privacy fence that surrounds my yard, while in the shade while taking a breather before moving on, they attempt to mimic the reddish-brown color it appears in shadows. a more lovely grey i’ve not seen!
in the human world there are predators, so people have their own camouflage too. especially people who are different. like i was, like ziona is.
as a bi-sexual woman my gayer sisters and brothers in the community often accused me of being a chameleon. of having it easier because i could blend in if i wanted to. in reality, my sexual preference only served to make me misunderstood in both worlds, gay and straight.
transsexual women who “pass” easily are often hated. those who don’t are hated as well. ziona may never have to disguise the ravages of testosterone since she will have never suffered its effects, but she realises, even at this young age, that she may have to hide some facts of her life-story from the world at large and will have to share these same facts with the women to whom she is attracted, before becoming intimate with them.
it’s wise of her to already know these things, to understand that in our society there are predators, and therefore reasons to hide. like our front-porch denizens many of us can bask in the open light of day only with risk of peril. our predators are the reason we feel the need to hide, to change color and melt into the background at times. still the so-called normal world takes this survival technique as evidence of shame.
we are not ashamed! but we will not be victimised by those whose ethics and values, falsely so-named, allow for predating upon us. if we seem to hide, it is only because we well know how to spot the shadow of a vulture passing overhead. like my lizards.
i hope for a tomorrow that has grown in compassion, understanding and tolerance. a bright world where being who we are, whatever that is, doesn’t mean risking our lives. but until then, i look to the lizards…they seem happy enough, and they survive!