I’m trying to get the spirit this year, even if just a whiff of it. But Christmas is a time to come together, and after a decade, I’m skint. No network, no system, just a sister who seems to want me to take care of her even when I’m the one who feels battered, Having to tell her it’s going to be right seems to obviate the truth that I don’t know myself how I will turn out.
So I found and watched a copy of “Love Actually,” Richard Curtis’ corny and joyous celebration of Christmas love. Holidays need some theatre to me, some kind of movement that leads to catharsis and joy, and cinema was the best I can get right now, with no audience of my own.
Not surprisingly, the character I empathize with most is the one played by Emma Thompson, a strong woman, mother & sibiling, who wants, at Christmas, to be someone’s girl for a little bit. And she thinks she will be too, when she sees her husband buying a swank gold necklace. But when her gift is some CDs, she faces the challenge of any aging woman, wondering if she is ever going to be someone’s girl again, or if romance has passed her by, leaving her humiliated and sexless.
The big difference between her character and me is that I never got to be anyone’s girl. Not a cute little girl, not one of the girls, not a girlfriend. And when I look at representations of transgender women, I see how that age has passed me by, even if it was ever available to someone who was never slight of build. never a “trap.”
And so, like many older women, I know that it may only be service that can get me connection. TBB asked me what I was going to do now, and I joked that I was going to go to a bar, find an unreliable loser, bring them home, take care of them and let them bleed me dry. It’s what so many lonely women do.
But I’m not simply a lonely woman, trying to recapture her days of attractiveness. I’m a lonely transwoman, who never had that kind of adoration and affirmation.
And on Christmas, especially, that seems like a very cold place.