I have been out of this whole writing thing for the past month now or so and as I always do, like a good Canadian, I will apologize relentlessly until you accept my apology. 🙂 I just finished exams and was on a vacation so naturally I did not feel like writing; I needed a break and I needed home, and I needed my family. But now I am here and now I am back; I have a whole list of new people to add to my already lengthy list. Some of these people I have met on my journeys, some I have not but regardless they continue to be heroes to me and to some other people as well.
I had been home almost a week and decided to watch an episode of The Therapist on Vice; specifically Laura Jane Grace, the frontwoman for Against Me! I first heard her amazing voice I think it 2009? I was lucky enough to see my favorite band Foo Fighters, and Against Me! opened for them. I went with my good friend TLP and Against Me! was already playing when we got there. Usually the band before the main act is average depending, but right away I was hooked. I know they definitely played STOP! and Thrash Unreal, and maybe one other song. This was before Laura Jane had announced to the world what she had known her whole life; she was transgender. I want to apologize yet again to the trans community and otherwise if I use the language or terms incorrectly; I’m still learning. Anyways, so I watched the episode of The Therapist with Laura Jane Grace and was blown away! I watched a few other episodes, but found this one to be the most “real” and inspiring; not because she was necessarily doing well, completely happy and living a seemingly easy life. It was actually the exact opposite at least in my eyes. To me, it looked as though she was quite sad, depressed, still trying to work out happiness; but she was completely and authentically herself. The most authentic I feel I have ever seen a person be. It was beautiful in a really heartbreaking way. Now she is truly becoming and being who she was meant to be, but with that carries a large amount of hurt and baggage with it I would assume. It is not very often you can feel real life pain through the screen of a tv or computer, but wow.
Gender Dysphoria is something that has come more to light in recent years, some people have been quick to negatively judge, others have been more empathetic. For me, as I mentioned above, if people are being their true authentic self, who am I to judge negatively or at all for that matter. There was a time in life I know I would have judged, but with age you become wiser I guess or something?
Anyways, I am not going to go on and on in regards to this topic because I am in no means an expert, merely an ally of authenticity.
Sometimes I think that for someone to be who they really are, it comes with a lot of pain, a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of second and third and fourth guessing yourself. Whether a person is straight, or gay, or trans or whatever label you decide to put or not put to it; being who you really are, the realest version of yourself will always come at a cost. Really though, isn’t it better to be who you really are and be miserable and in pain for a moment in time or maybe even long term instead of pretending to be the opposite? to be a fake, putting on that smile pretending everything is okay (sounds exhausting to me). I think for all of us, we should be continually looking for that moment to express “this is who the f*ck I am, deal with it or don’t”. Tough times don’t last, tough people do man! Everyone has some stuff they have to unpack once in a while or maybe quite often.
So this week for being a source of courage, showing what true bravery looks like, for rescuing herself, for trying to love herself, for attempting to outwork the doubt, for finding hope, and for living through it all as her authentic self (pain and all), Laura Jane Grace is my hero this week. Thank you for reminding to be myself at all costs, and to be empathetic in listening to others while they try to find themselves.
Thank-you for being a voice, for your voice and for putting it to music.