I lived in Brooklyn in a railroad apartment and went to school at LaGuardia Community College in Queens as a teenager. Back in the 1980’s life was different, maybe even simpler without today’s technology. I do know two things, the hussle and bussle of people, trains, cars and busses will never change and I will always be a Brooklyn Girl at
Archive for November 2010
This story is based on losing one’s faith, finding it again and as the cliché goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” We choose different paths in life when it comes to our friends yet, somehow the connection of the heart remains the same.
My New York girlfriend, Franca and I had known each other for 26 years, we met in Queens, New York at a community college and she became the sister I never had almost immediately. Knowing each other for that amount of time I had a tendency of drifting in and out of her life. I would meet someone and become romantically involved and the next thing you knew months would go by without communicating with each other. The typical old story. It seemed whenever a relationship of mine ended, we would pick up where we left off as if no time had passed at all.
The last time there was a large gap between the two of us speaking was when I moved from Texas to Florida. I think it had been about a year since we had spoken. I had my own place and never unpacked everything. There were still boxes pilled high in my closet.
While at work one day…a malefic day in New York had struck in which everyone on this planet was affected …9/11. The owners of the company were from New York too as I was. They closed the office early that day and I ran home. As I entered my apartment tears were rolled down my cheeks. I ran to the closet in search of a small piece of paper I had carried around for years. I opened up all the boxes…scattering papers, books and photos all over my living room floor. And then I saw it…the paper I had been looking for. On one side of the paper there was an illegible phone number…probably a drink had spilled on it … this was my friend’s phone number. I turned it over and on the other side of the paper there was her sister’s phone number…but, the paper was torn and missing the last digit.
I immediately picked the phone up and dialed New York numbers using zero through nine trying to fill in the last digit. I was crazed because all I could think of was my friend’s sister had worked in one of the towers that collapsed. I left at least seven messages in a fifteen minute period on stranger’s answering machines in the hopes that I could find my friend…my confidant…my sister. I’m sure the individuals who listened to my message thought I was crazy…crying into the phone in search of my long lost friend.
Two days later the phone rang and on the other end there was the woman I needed to hear from…my dearest friend…. my sister. We spoke for hours and before we hung up I promised that no matter what I would not ever loose contact again. And to this day I have kept my word to her. It was through this tragedy that I learned, life is too short and to always keep in touch with the one’s you love. And on a happy note, her sister was fine.
Falling in love with anyone is supposed to be the most beautiful experience in life. But, being a Transgender in today’s society can be complicated for them regarding their sacred journey. You see, for those unique individuals they must consider certain factors that most of us take for granted in everyday life. Trust and safety issues are always on the fore front of their minds. For an FTM (female to male) or MTF (male to female), the risk is high of being rejected or finding themselves in a hostile situation, leading to a hate crime. One can even say that they put their lives on the line, daily. Who can one trust in coming out? Unfortunately, so many Transsexual individuals feel they are in the closet and not able to share their inner most self with newly found friends or potential love interests. This is a frustrating and rocky road as their body progressively matches their mind with the proper surgeries and hormones. The passage into their gender as they integrate themselves into society as their innate sex is not one that is taken lightly, but destined.
Furthermore, discrimination is prevalent regardless of where one lives and unfortunately, most states do not have laws implemented to protect the Transgender individual. In my eyes, they are the victims with no legal backing when it comes to divorce, child custody or even employment possibilities. It is common knowledge that in thirty eight states a Transgender could be fired solely based on a label, a way of life…the only life they knew.
Bottom line, a Transgender does not wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll be a Transgender today.” Think of it as someone deciding; today is the day, “I am going to be heterosexual.” Nor would anyone place themselves intentionally in society with this gender disorder based on such negative undertones associated with our communities. It is unfortunate that we live in a time when acceptance and tolerance are considered taboo. What is needed is a push beyond the comfort zone…personally speaking. With an open mind, the turmoil of societal and cultural dynamics will see the new boundaries that need to be intersected.