A Laugh for Your Monday

Monday, June 11, 2012

It was a hard day today, even by the standards of it being a Monday. Nothing transition-related (well, not directly); it's yet more work craziness. 

It doesn't really have anything to do with my performance; I'm just a pawn in a battle that is being waged around me. But as my manager notes sympathetically, that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. And of course the hormones make it more of a challenge some days (like today, unfortunately).

But it will get better at some point. And in the meantime, what better day to share a quick, fun story about my friend M, who has apparently taken it upon himself to provide the laugh track for my transition?

As I mentioned, M has been wonderfully supportive… in his own, er, unique fashion.

We went for another walk last week, then picked up sandwiches for dinner back at his place. Earlier he had asked what the actual physical transition was like, so I suggested we could check out a few slide shows of people's transitions on YouTube.

As we watched, out of the corner of my eye I could see M looking at me surreptitiously - no doubt trying to figure out what I might look like in 12-18 months.

After a few videos, M expressed his amazement at what he had watched, and that he never would have guessed the women in them had once been men if he hadn't seen it. 

He asked if I had any idea what I was going to look like when my transition was finished. I explained that no, no one really knows that when they begin. Various factors (age, genetics, health, etc.) all play a part in how your body responds to HRT.

"It isn't the biggest reason to transition - or at least it shouldn't be - but the general rule of thumb is that if you're a cute boy, then you'll be a cute girl," I added.

"OK," said M, nodding slowly. He then reached over and patted my knee.

"Just remember... looks aren't everything."

M had promised that he wouldn't treat me any differently - and apparently he intends to keep that promise. That may or may not be a good thing, as it turns out. lol


Do you have certain albums that you turn to after a tough day, or when going through a challenging stretch? One of mine is from Texas legends The Flatlanders. 

The Flatlanders - Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock - formed in the early 70s and released one album on a tiny Texas label - on 8-track only, believe it or not. When it went nowhere, the members went their own separate ways, each establishing successful solo careers. 

25 years later, they reunited to work on a song for Robert Redford's underrated 1998 film, The Horse Whisperer. The result was the gorgeous "South Wind of Summer":

Four years later, the first Flatlanders album in 30 years, Now Again, was released to universal critical acclaim. It came out at a difficult time in my life, and became the small, good thing (to quote the great Raymond Carver) with which I rewarded myself for making it through another tough day - or night. The power of music to heal, to offer solace, is remarkable.

Here's the opening song from Now Again, a cover of Utah Phillips' lovely "Going Away":


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