I can really kick myself for starting this whole holiday themed post schtick I now feel unreasonably obligated to see out. I know, Thanksgiving should be an easy one with obvious smarmy little witticisms like ‘happy trans-giving everyone!’. Ugh, I want to smack myself for even considering it! Come on Michelle, you can do better than that.
For most people, Thanksgiving is a time to go nutso on all the deliciousness piled on the table, eating until the point of intense discomfort kicks in and we seek to distract ourselves in any way possible. It might be listening with rapt focus to Uncle Harry’s recounting of his bout of Dutch Elm disease, or taking the traditional route of getting good and liquored up. From there it’s on to the feats of strength. Sorry, different holiday all together. And no, I will not be doing a Festivus post… yeah, don’t hold me to that. One of the grand traditions that I think is applicable here is the going around the table so that each person has the opportunity to give thanks; a masochistic practice simply unendurable as very large families have to wade through everyone as we all salivate over the cooling food. It’s also a bad time for anyone who had a real shit year and now has to come up with some contrived malarkey to avoid looking like a bad sport.
This year I’m lucky in that I had a pretty good year, well compared to last year anyway; that one was the epitome of shit years and I feel lucky to have survived it. The first thing I’m thankful for then is that it’s no longer 2011. No beloved family members died, no marriages ended, no one went into the ICU, and no one kicked it all off with the last tattered illusion of male identity ripped away. Yeah, yeah, I came to terms with myself and all that, but the seismic impact of that little revelation sent the queen of all tsunamis through my entire personal world. So thank you universe, for keeping time moving in a neat forward only direction, devoid of any random repeats or rewinds. If the universe collapses many billions of years from now, and for some reason time rewinds, the me at that time is going to be so pissed.
Now it’s time to tell everyone how they disappointed me this year… dammit, Festivus again. Sorry, everyone I’m thankful for. Yes, it’s time to get gushy, and yes, it’s a long list.
My son, who will always be the light of my life and my overwhelming inspiration to go forth and succeed.
My ex, who has worked with me through this tremendously difficult process and in spite of the seemingly unending pain it has caused her. She’s the best person I know.
My mom, who accepted my change without a blink in what was the most difficult year of her life, and has since given me unwavering love and support.
My dad, so sorely missed this year, who showed me everyday what a true man should be. While it didn’t take, it is with his example of honesty, decency, and compassion that I raise my son.
My sisters, all three, who also welcomed me as their sister and deluged me with love and understanding. My one older sister, Annie, has shown not just love and support, but a comforting amount of protectiveness as well.
My entire extended family, all of whom without exception have also been supportive and loving through this transition.
My in-laws, people who had absolutely no discernible reason to continuing liking me, yet displayed tremendous grace and warmth in the wake of the pain caused to their daughter.
My friends of old, who knew me for so long as simply ‘Mike’ and accepted my startling revelation with no more drama than as if I was adopting a cat.
My friends of new, who accept me at face value, validate my existence, and show me love and inclusion.
My company, who with every reason and legal right to divest themselves of a potential problem, instead chose unparalleled compassion and understanding. Especially my boss and HR.
My group, who found me out before I could tell them and stood by me in solidarity. I could not be more proud to work with them, and each one of them is what every man should aspire to be.
My co-workers, who embraced my identity and made it possible for me to stay there so comfortably.
My twin sister from another mister, Becky, who always says it better than I ever could and has been there every time I’m at my wits end with sage advice and kind wisdom. Seriously, thank you sis.
My trans groups, Spectrum and the Buffalo Belles, who were there to help, guide, and advise from the beginning and were instrumental in my transition. Special thanks to Patti, Ari, and Tina who stayed long after they needed us, because we needed them.
My correspondents, all of you and too many to name. Every message in my in-box has been a ray of light.
My Facebook friends, many of whom I haven’t seen in decades, but accepted my change and followed me over from my old account.
My readers, who validate my experience just by showing up, and of course special thanks to my commenters.
My country, for whom I served and proved I did the right thing this past November by showing the true character of this nation.
Finally, and yes I know this is weird, me. Specifically the me that used to be known as Michael. Thanks for finally opening the box and letting me live.
Yes, there are probably plenty more I should thank, like President Obama and VP Biden and such, but for some reason I don’t think either one of them read this blog. Then again, I can see Biden Googling himself often and scrolling the full 18 million hits. If so, thanks so much for the trans civil rights comment! You rock, and never lose that big shit eatin’ grin.