Safety

I met a film-maker. We got on well, and had a meeting about a film on the transsexual experience: I would be creative director. I missed our second meeting, and never heard from him again. He did not reply to my emails, texts or calls.

Stated that way, it seems I was the author of my own misfortune. It did not seem quite that way at the time; I had texted and called to say that going into London was rather expensive for me, and could we talk by Skype instead? I had no response to that, and it seemed reasonable to me; and then months later I thought, what if he wanted to try me on camera? You can’t do that by skype.

It might not have come off anyway. He had other stuff to worry about. Yet still, my decision seemed reasonable at the time and possibly caused me a serious loss. Never mind the Big Thing in my life: I tried to fight transition, I could not resist it, and my sister and father stopped seeing me. Loss after Loss, caused by my failure, stupidity, inadequacy…

A man I met had been walking through the station when someone he did not know leapt on his back and slashed him across the brow with a razor. It was pure luck he was not blinded. For years after he could not go outside unaccompanied. Bad things happen to good people. Lightning does strike in the same place twice, for the obvious reason that the thing struck is higher than things around it.

I half remember, perhaps half-understand, that Krishnamurti said we should forget all that stuff. Just live now. Past pains and pleasures are an indication but not too strong a guide.

Words can liberate. The word “transsexual” liberated me to transition. Without the concept, I would not have done it- perhaps with different concepts I would be living entirely differently. Words can constrain: if my narrative is that I respond in a particular way, I cannot respond otherwise. I wrote: gender: Abigail; sexuality: Abigail; perhaps it is, full description: Abigail.

Salvador Dali, Berthe

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