Terrible things happen to people. Terrible, tragic and not your fault kinds of things.
Loved ones get disfigured by disease, or accidents and forever after they wonder if those who had loved them before could ever still be in love with them. Forever after those who love them search for ways to be loving in spite of the changes fate has caused.
To be told "I love you in spite of your deformity" cannot be pleasant, but at least it might be believable. Much less believable would be "I love you because of your deformity.". Much better would be "I love who you are and how you live, no matter how the packaging looks" or some such heart-felt declaration of continuing devotion.
Lana Wachowski's speech at the HRC Visibility Awards last October moved me at so many levels. This was a short talk of huge ideas. It contained her reference to "the pathology of a society that refuses to acknowledge the spectrum of gender in the exact same blind way they have refused to see a spectrum of race or sexuality. " For that sentence alone I idolize her.
It is another part of her talk, one pivotal paragraph in the transcript I downloaded that is ringing like a maniacal Big Ben getting louder as I try to ignore it. Maybe putting it here will at the very least make it get a little quieter:
Years later I find the courage to admit that I am transgender and this doesn’t mean that I am unlovable. I meet a woman, the first person that has made me understand that they love me not in spite of my difference but because of it. She is the first person to see me as a whole being. And every morning I get to wake up beside her I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for those two blue eyes in my life.
And now you know where the preamble was heading and if you have been there, and if you are trans you certainly have, you know how my heart has been feeling since first hearing those words.