A Trans Butterfly. Not a Football

Still Thrilled to be Trans. Thank you, Pam.

Today is my Butterfly Day. Four years ago this night, I emerged from my chrysalis, empowered by my wife to be who I truly am. She and I had decided to separate. What Pam did with that moment is the bravest, most self-giving thing I've ever seen a human being do.

Be Who You Are

She had arrived at a resolution to the agony she and I had gone through for weeks after I told her I was trans. Yet, as she later told me, "In the moments after we'd decided to separate, I asked myself why wasn't I happy?" Pam stared it in the face and realized that cutting night from day, black from white, staying together from splitting didn't fulfill anything. "She can be who she is," she said to herself.

I had gone to sleep having lost the brightest and best life I would ever know.

In the middle of the night, Pam nuzzled against me and whispered "You be who you are. I love you."

"Are you fuckin' with my mind?" I asked groggily.

She giggled. "No. You be you."

New Light

That was the greatest single moment I will ever live. The next morning, the sunlight looked different. The world smelled fresh and new. And Pam and I stepped into the next chapter of our adventure.

You see, by letting me be me, Pam dared in a way that so many people miss.

Football for the Lame

Of late, I've felt like a football kicked around by posturing politicians and grandstanding legislatures trying to make a felony out of being trans and criminalizing those who support us in our journey.

Their voices speak out of fear, not strength. In past decades, they had a position of power that ensured that people like me offered no presence worthy of repression. We couldn't possibly rise to the status of political soccer ball because our existence was acknowledged only in the most tawdry and depraved terms and comedic vehicles. Who could support us without themselves being consigned to the freakshow tent?

Pam's Courage, Pam's Love

Yet, Pam had a courage and adventure of heart that rivaled Samwise Gamgee's. She carried me up a mountain of doom, stared down the Saurons and Gollums who threatened the life she knew, and said, "Myeh. Safety isn't what you crack it up to be. I won't trade it for love—something your kind will never know."

So, tonight, I had a beer (or two), and Pam had a Mule (or two), and we toasted what we were when we were four years younger and saluted the years to come, celebrating who we are now.

The political opportunists using trans kids, their parents, and human souls as political fodder shrink from love like a mushroom doused in acid.

They have already lost.

For them, sunlight is a hindrance to shadow grabs for power. For them, living smells like the shit they rub on others.

Already Won

If you're trans and feel under siege, know that you have already won. You have Pams in your life, some of whom you have yet to meet but will. You'll greet them when we all have long forgotten the hate mongers who tried to use human beings as objects, and who lost only a chance at joy.

Still we rise. Parents, love your children. Children, be who you are—in Texas, Idaho, Iowa, South Dakota, the Ukraine, and anywhere else where persons are kicked around like footballs.

We always bounce back. To greater heights.



On the left, bearded man in hat, wearing glasses; on the right, a woman standing

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