So I have this friend. She is kind, quirky, super smart and really really funny.
We have never met in person.
My friend doesn’t feel comfortable going out, and instead is her true self online, where people can’t see her, or judge her, or be cruel to her.
My friend is a transexual, who struggles because her outside doesn’t currently reflect her inside. She has had to work so hard her whole life to make peace with that, and is now at the start of a journey to transition, a journey which has already been riddled with challenges. Some time ago she was heartbroken when her consultant told her she needed to loose some weight before he could help her any further. She had to start again.
Today, she got on a bus, and a woman said in a loud voice, “WHAT is that?”.
Lets put this into perspective. I am a cis white woman, I am painfully average. I’m not the most beautiful women in any room, but my body does what I need it to. I have carried and birthed 3 beautiful children. I can do 3 whole chin ups. I have a decent enough rack and my legs are, dare I say, pretty good in heels. But like every women I know, I obsess over the negative. Those 3 children who filled my life with joy, also filled my belly and destroyed all dreams of that six pack I never had in the first place. I complain about frizzy hair, and curse the rain as it destroys the blow dry that takes 20 minutes every time I bother to put in the effort. I have stayed at home and missed social events because I felt that nothing fitted me right, or I was carrying a little extra weight, or for whatever reason I felt not good enough. I have missed out.
I should have been grateful, because that body has climbed mountains, danced till 3am, allowed me to hug, love, and work to sustain my family, and kept disease and injury at bay.
Think about that, and think about how it would feel to be born into a body that didn’t match your soul, to know that you will have to fight to find your true self. To know that you will be judged before you even talk, and that every single day will require immense strength and courage.
Shame on all of us, that people in this world who are vulnerable feel anything but our love and support. We are the strong, we are the able, we have the power to extend a hand to those who have bigger hills to climb and help them up. To some, a comment like the one made above can destroy the confidence that we spent all day gathering, just to leave the house. To those same, a smile or a look of encouragement provides that extra inch of strength so they can go an enjoy life, spend time with their friends and family, see this world and all that the rest of us take for granted.
Unfortunately, the voices of bullies and negative people are the loudest in this world. No matter how much those we love tell us that we are good, worthy, enough, we listen to those who tell us otherwise, its just our nature.
I’ve said it before, hurt people, hurt people. Negativity is a sign of deep dissatisfaction in their own lives. It says more about those who say it than those who are hurt by the nastiness and malice. We all need to be kinder to each other, and to ourselves.
I have waited a long time for an opportunity to meet my friend and hug her in person instead of writing “hugs” on her facebook posts. That woman on the bus may have taken that opportunity from me for a while longer. Shame on her.
To my friend. I care about you, we all do. Hugs will happen. We’ll wait.