Terrific post from Redress Alert on the 2014 MichFest.
“It was not that they all knew, from direct experience, what I was on about. It was that they were listening and empathizing so hard, with so much love, that their care was palpable. They were not an audience but witnesses.”
“At Michigan, for the first time, I was not indigestible. I was not a contaminant.”
“These women are the soul of the Place…Simply, they are making magic and inviting you in.”
“It turns out that when you stop demonizing your elder women or patronizing them as ignorant dinosaurs, and you go hang out with them in the woods instead–they show up and mentor you in ways you thought only happened for boys in novels and movies.”
“Now that I finally know this, not only in my mind but from within all the borders of my own body, I want to scream, ‘You cannot stand in the exact spot I am standing in without standing on me.'”
“What I am left with is this bitter question: “Who would I be if I had not been lied to and kept from this Place for all these years?”
I believe I would be speaking and singing in a voice nobody will ever hear again, a voice I altered with testosterone instead. I believe my body would be more typical for my chronological age, and not frequently disabled by chronic pain. I believe I would have had the chance to manage and learn the logic of the odd hormonal balance I carried before I disrupted and obscured it by adding T. I believe I would speak from the position of having recovered my sense of bodily integrity, instead of living with the knowledge that I colluded in my own erasure by medical “normalizing.” I believe I would be a hell of a lot less alone.”