"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Monday 27 November 2023

Life as a Balloon

When I was a child, I remember The Balloon Lady, a Royal Doulton figurine. It sat on my Grandmother's mantle. I have no idea what became of that lady after Grandma died, but last Christmas K bought a new lady, one of our own, to sit on our mantle. 
In the Disney movie Mary Poppins Returns, near the end, the Balloon Lady makes an appearance, played by Dame Angela Lansbury, and sings a lovely song:

 Life's a balloon
That tumbles or rises
Depending on what is inside
Fill it with hope
And playful surprises
And oh, deary ducks
Then you're in for a ride

Those playful surprises that make life worth living require us to be open and honest with ourselves and others. Fortunately, in my day-to-day life, going about shouting "I'm a woman!" hasn't been necessary. That isn't to say that people are convinced I was born female - quite the contrary - I get all sorts of puzzled looks when people first encounter me. 

The reason it isn't important is that, where I live at least, when people find out that I'm comfortable in my skin, not hiding or pretending, they accept me. 

I believe there is an important reason not to hide or try to pretend. The people in this community know me now. I am a pleasant woman who shops and chats with them. I am a friendly member of the community band. 

By engaging with people as a regular member of society, you become one of them. What do you suppose is going to happen when these good people who know me are in a gathering where a discussion comes up about how awful it is about all of these trans-women (or trans-men)? I'm sure they will have at least one example to use to convince others that we are far from threatening. We are not so different from anyone else. 

You and I are creating the environment for all the trans and queer kids who follow. Hiding our playful, wonderful nature under a basket won't do us or them any good. If we are a threat, make it because we fit in too well. Bigots can't stand that. 

The past is the past
It lives on as history
And that's an important thing
The future comes fast
Each second a mystery
For nobody knows what
Tomorrow may bring

"Nowhere to Go But Up" from Mary Poppins Returns
Written by: Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman