So yesterday I told you how grateful I was for my little brother and sister. I really could not get by without them. There is another group of people I could not survive without though, and it is a group too often we all take for granted: our friends. I have been blessed with so many amazing friends, and to be frank I could probably write a five hundred plus word essay about each of them to fill out the rest of this series (and then some!) Since I want to make this as much about a mental exercise to find other things to be grateful for I will give you all a shout out in this one, citing some of the big reasons for being so thankful for you. Last names will be left out for your privacy’s sake.
First and foremost are Aaron and Rachel. They have always treated me like family. Their girls are like nieces to me and the warmth and support I have received from this amazing couple, almost upon meeting them, is humbling. Like my siblings they have been there to catch me when I stumble. I have always been welcome in their home and have met many of my newer friends, including their families, through them. I honestly do not think I would have survived coming out as trans without their help. They have introduced me to whole new worlds, and have been open-minded enough to let me do the same for them. Rachel really is, as I tell everyone, my “sistah by another mistah” which I suppose makes Aaron my de facto brother-in-law.
Then there are all the people I have met through the two of them. Brenda, Don, Christoph, Nicole, Christine, Paul and so very many others. Like Aaron and Rachel you have all been so very supportive. You come to my readings to hear me stumble over words I prepared months before. You accept me into your homes. You laugh at my bizarre sense of humor, and are just generally awesome people.
Then there are my “girls.” Mostly younger women that I mostly met through the non-profits I have worked for or with. Patty, Melanie, Nina, Leala, RJ, Anjelica and quite a few more. Even on days (like today, bleh) that I look yucky and mannish you have all insisted that I am one of the girliest people you know, which means a lot to me. To be accepted as a woman by cis women, even when I am not even trying to pass makes it so much easier, and anything that makes a trans woman’s life easier is absolutely priceless, which is what all of you are.
Speaking of non-profits, I would be remiss not to mention my fellow social justice warriors. Aside from the women mentioned above (each and every one of them) there is Scott, Brian, Jesse, Shenzi and more. That you let me stand side by side with you as we fight for those who cannot fight for themselves is an honor. I cannot wait to be standing with you again, doing the work that needs to get done, and making the world, as I always say, “a safer, saner, kinder place.”
Finally I have to give a shout out to those I may have lost contact with over the years. My fellow partiers, gamers, movie goers and general ne’er do wells. Ben, Geoff, Chris, Rob (both of you), Brad and Jas, as well as countless others. Some of you I will get a chance to hang with in the future, some of you I will not. As a cantankerous but wise co-worker once said told me, we find ourselves turning over our circle of friends as our needs and wants change over the years. Some come back to us, some do not, but you are all loved.
So thank you, all of you, just for being you. You make my life brighter and better, and I hope that I have returned that favor, at least a little.
- How to cultivate an attitude of gratitude (happycamperproject.com)
- Gratitude tree (dialann.org)
- Reflections of Gratitude: The Struggle Ends When Gratitude Begins, By Rachel (amovingstory.com)
- An Attitude Of Gratitude (nicolebberry.wordpress.com)