One if the things that I inevitably think about on my birthday is the past year (or more). I reminisce about good and bad times and look at the changes in my life.
The changes this year are all to obvious to me, and will soon be obvious to anyone who has known me up to now. Besides the outward changes, though, my feelings about myself are changing rapidly. I am more at peace with who I am than I can ever remember, and there is still work I can do there. I think this reflects in how I interact with the world, too. Over the last several weeks I have met so many wonderful and positive people. Most were just fleeting conversations, but they have brightened my days. Just today I had some good laughs with a lady in Starbucks who was redeeming her birthday drink, too. The insecure me would not have let the conversation go on past happy birthday. Today though, we gave each other some good laughs and I got a good tip for a manicurist.
When I was growing up we learned in history class about the Jim Crow laws. These were meant to keep particularly the Southern States in the US racially segregated. In the late 80’s it was hard to imagine lawmakers were so narrow minded and bigoted. We are so much better now than they were then. Guess what? In the same state that I learned about this, my generation are now the lawmakers and they are using the same tactics. There are not special sections of the bus or separate water fountains, yet, but all of a sudden it isn’t as far fetched as we once thought it might be. My generation has restricted transgender individuals rights in choosing the safest and most appropriate washroom to use. I am so happy to be living where I am.
My very last musing to be written on this birthday? A huge thank you and a big hug to all the people who have contributed to this past year! There are a few key people helping me physically and mentally in my transition. You are giving me such a huge gift! To the people who have pissed me off this year, you get a thank you and virtual hug. I learn and grow even from bad lessons. To my few but precious friends, you are great. Whether I see you often or not, you are a comfort. Finally, thanks to the multitude of kind strangers I have shared a few words or just a smile with. I am an optimist and you help keep me so.