“she deserves to see me great”

January 29, 2011

I watched this amazing documentary called “Beautiful Daughters” this morning. It’s about transgender (m>f) women performing Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues”. Calpernia Adams was in it (oddly Jane Fonda initiated the project), and I actually studied her story my freshman year of college. Her story was so difficult to digest when I heard it, but what I felt doesn’t even compare to what she had to go through. Seeing her so successful really brings me hope that there are some brilliant trans role models out there… and seeing all the brilliant women in this film reinforced that as well.

There was one woman, Valerie Spencer, that stood out to me, and it was an oddly religious experience. She spoke about the acceptance of her mother… how she told her mother that she wanted to be who she wanted to be whenever she was home; her mother told her to “come home.” The acceptance of her daughter – realizing that her success was the happiness and success of her daughter – was such a beautiful thing to witness. Realizing that her daughter was happier as a woman than a social-unaccepted flamboyant man shocked me probably as much as it shocked her.

Then they went to church.

I’m still struggling to accept how this scene made me feel. Archbishop Carl Beam spoke at the Unity Fellowship Church in LA and said things that knocked me down… He embodied what I believe a Christian should truly be… someone who believes that it doesn’t matter who or what you are or how you feel you should be as long as God is in your heart. He made it clear that sexual orientation had no affect on God’s love. For one second, my atheism lapsed. It takes a lot to do that. For a second, I might have believed in the strength and beauty of faith.

Halfway through the movie, I no longer saw men who felt they were supposed to be women. I saw women. Smart, beautiful, courageous women. Valerie Spencer almost made me feel like a weak woman… she was so comfortable in her own skin, and so confident in her life that I envy her. “I only date men of substance because I’m a woman of substance.” God. If only I loved myself that much.

As someone who has always felt strongly about sexuality and gender-related issues, this short reminded me of that. I applaud this film for their positive example and hope that other documentary filmmakers follow suit.

I am incredibly grateful for my upbringing. I never had to fear that I would be disowned by my parents for my personal choices. They supported me, and continue to support me, though everything. If I were to announce I was attracted to women, my parents would support me 100%, no questions asked. My mother has even told me this, stating that the only sadness from this announcement would be because of the struggle or discrimination I could possibly face. I have had friends who have come out and have not had this support from their own families. Their bravery and strength amazes me daily; I only wish I had that sort of fearlessness in my own life.

“When we really get free as the human civilization, we’ll be fluid… Liquid.” Amen, Eve Ensler. Amen.


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