Those crying in the night I recently heard from one of our trans* sisters who shared that she has been having a difficult time lately. She recently came out to a few people and is still in the early stages of discovery, awareness and learning to live authentically. She spent a lovely weekend presenting as her true self and as she was changing back to “guy mode”, she found herself sitting alone and crying. Crying because, for a few short hours, she felt real as her true self and now she was going back to hiding, denying and pretending. I felt her hurt because I, like most of us, have been at that spot where not being who we really are is so painful and lonely.
A Tampa hotel room one December The first time crying in the night for me was seven years ago when I went to a Christmas party for trans* people in Tampa. I had a marvelous time and didn’t want the night to end. Like our sister, I found myself sitting on the foot of the bed, weeping my eyes out, long black streaks of mascara and eye liner oozing down my cheeks. I didn’t want to go back to pretending I was a man. My soul ached, my eyes burned from makeup and tears and I felt so terribly alone.
Seven years later Since that night, so much of my life has changed for the better. I no longer feel lost and alone and I don’t have to use Merlot and Ativan to allow me to sleep. However, I don’t ever want to forget how much I, too, ached to be who I really am. I don’t want to forget what it is like to lie, pretend or sneak around just to let myself feel like my true self. I don’t want to forget the desperation, anxiety and fear that came from not living honestly. Most of all, I don’t want to forget the pain we all have felt just by being trans*.
Those families crying in the night Because I remember my tears, I can mourn the loss of those no longer with us. The ones who were unable to cope with the pain and fear, bullying and the loss of all hope that pushed them to take their own lives. Because I remember my tears, I will speak the names of our trans* brothers and sisters who were taken from us by violence and hate. Because I remember my tears, I will not forget the agony of the families and friends of those lost for their pain, suffering and tears will never disappear.
Those crying in the night I have so many reasons to be happy. I have family, friends and someone special who love and care about me. I am living my life as I want and as who I am. I don’t hide, pretend or lie to be my honest self. It would be so easy to not care about those who suffer every day. It would not take much work to ignore the reports of those lost to hate and suicide. How simple would it be to not even think about the families, and friends of those lost. I cannot forget. I cannot forget my journey. I remember my tears. I will not forget those lost or taken from us. We must never forget.