Saturday, August 20, 2016

Chasing Ghosts

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to the radio on the way home from work.  The Phillies were on later that night, but I had the sports station on anyway (94 WIP.)  I think the host was Brian Haddad.  In any case, that week's Sports Illustrated cover featured Lebron James, and it mentioned that at this point in his career, his motivation is "this ghost I'm chasing."

So the host bring this topic up, and asks his audience "which Ghosts are YOU chasing?"

I was instantly fascinated.

As I was close to home, I didn't call in to the show.  However, I haven't stopped thinking about it.

I think we all chase Ghosts.  We chase what you believe should have been.  What could be.  We find role models, and emulate them.  We've all done it.

I thought about it.  For me, the simple answer would be that I'm chasing "all the people who transitioned before me."  And while that is true, that's not accurate.  Not complete.

(There are Ghosts I chase that I won't include for Privacy reasons- their Privacy.  One would be right there up top, but my "Big Sister" doesn't like publicity.)

For example, there are people I admire, but can never emulate.  A perfect example there is Kristin Beck.  She has done things in her life that I could only imagine,  She is a Heroine in every sense of the word.  However, I could never emulate her, as her courage has led her to places I can never go.

With Kristin Beck, 2014

If I had to narrow it to two people, one would be Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan.  She's an activist, a best selling author, and a teacher.  In her own words, she's a "storyteller."  She's everything I aspire to being.  She is one of my biggest inspirations, and a wonderful person.  And a dear friend. However, I can never have the life she has.  My soul is far too damaged and scarred by Darkness.  She has a wife and wonderful children, and came from privilege.  My Wife and I are separated, and I rarely see my daughter.  I grew up poor.  However, she is one of the Ghosts I chase.

No one ever said chasing Ghosts was different than "tilting at windmills."

With JFB at Nasa, June 2016

However, if I had to narrow it down to just ONE person...  ONE Ghost I chase...

She would be Donna Rose.

Years ago, when I first started researching what "Transgender" means, Donna's website was one of the first I crossed (as well as Linda Lewis' and Fictionmania.)  I ordered a copy of Donna's book Wrapped in Blue from ebay.  It was the first book by a transgender woman I read (followed soon after by JFB's She's Not There.)

I read the book, and was stirred by the simple Passion of her writing... the rawness- the Honesty.  She easily articulated the Pain I was experiencing.  Then, I saw her talks and speeches.  I read her blog.  She was a Voice for people like me.  There are MANY who advocate for us, but few have her passion.  I said to myself "if I ever transition, I want to be just like her."

With Donna at SCC 2013

Early in my Trans experience, I was introduced to my "Big Sister" Mel, who has been one of the best friends anyone could ask for.  As it turns out, Mel's "Big Sister" is Donna!  It was through Mel that I eventually met Donna many moons ago.  I was dumbstruck- it was like meeting a rock star.  We've met several times since, and she has given me amazing advice.

Donna has stepped aside from advocacy now to live her life.  She's definitely earned it.  I've tried to step forward to fill her shoes, but no one really can.  I will continue to be an Advocate and follow her example.  I can never be Donna- she has a great career and has done so much.  But, like my other Ghosts, I can do my best to follow their examples.

And besides, it isn't the Goal... it's the Journey.

Be Well.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it really *is* the Journey that it really is all about, isn't it? The thing is that like any journey or trip getting there can be made easier or more difficult based on the route taken or the time frame.
    Consider a trip from Philly to say Baton Rouge, LA. Driving there might be pretty tough considering the current condition whereas flying might be much easier.
    Another thing that you might consider is that your "heroes" or role models, all have the same thing in common: they all started relatively later in life after some success as men. What can be learned here?