TBB has brought a VCR on the ship and is dubbing all the old tapes to DVD.

It’s time consuming, of course.

But more than that, it is emotionally consuming.

To go back and see her father, who has been gone for years now, is bittersweet.

And the tapes of the wedding, standing next to that beautiful woman, well, hard.

“I remember how committed I was,” she tells me.  “This was my wedding and my marriage was for life.  I was willing to do anything.

“I don’t think she was that committed.”

Andrew Vachss talks about kids who are “adultified early.”  For him, that usually means dealing with sexual abuse, but I believe there is a wider range. Kids who face disease, or family challenges also get “adultified early,” often having to take care of their own parents.

And queers, well, queer kids get adultified early.

I knew very early that I couldn’t just act on my own feelings and my own desires.

Instead, I had to committ to staying hidden, to performing a concious role.

TBB committed to being a husband just like she committed to living as a man, knowing that in every moment she would have to make a choice to deny her gut and do the right thing.   She was going to force it out hard and harder, to tighten her abdomen and take the G forces, to face the pressure and grunt through it.

The wife?

Could she even understand what committment was at that level?  She wanted what she wanted, indulging her desires, and when she had to make sacrifices, did she have the training?

Does any normie really understand the kind of committment it takes to swallow yourself working to be who you are expected to be?  Or is it only when those expectations lead them to some kind of ruin that they start to do the work?

I know that it’s not just trans that demands this kind of committment, that any child whose childhood is taken away when they are demanded to go inward and lock themselves down shares the same kind of challenge.   We learn that trusting our heart is bad and only denial is good.

How do we learn to trust our heart, and more than that, learn to trust that others can also embrace our heart and not just our committment?

How, indeed.

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