“Let me paint the view for you,” TBB — who now might want to be known as Sabrina — said to me last night.

“I’m at an outside table just behind the bridge.  We are travelling east just off the shore of Puerto Rico, and I’m looking back west, across a placid shimmering black sea, with the lights of the island shining to my left,  the stars of Orion above me, and the quarter moon hanging brilliant in the sky, shaped like a huge bowl.

“This weekend will be my third here, another time to ride out on my motorcycle through the lush foliage and countryside attractions, like the fresh food DiFazio and I enjoyed last weekend, two gal pals on a bike.   This weekend it’s a SCUBA excursion, and dinner with a gal I met the first weekend I was here, who works as an exotic dancer.

“My son is graduating from college in a few weeks, and my mother is doing fine, though the dementia is just starting to take hold.   I’ve got some money in the bank, and I feel valued where I am.  In fact, I recently got a call to offer me a promotion onto another boat, which I passed on.

“But what I feel here tonight, is a little bit lonely.  I look at the moon and think about what I have done with my life, the cycles where I created something amazing and the cycles where I tried and failed, and the cycles where I took care of my family and myself.  I feel the cycles changing again, and I want relationships, want to work with people to empower each other to be better, more amazing.

“I know I did good, and I am proud of what I have done.  I lead in a way that made people feel that they could do it themselves, and they did, and that’s great.  But I do sort of feel bad that I wasn’t as involved as I could have been, because I chose to put my family, my wife and my security first.  That was the right decision for that time, I guess, but the amount I feel opened up as I let go of those constraints, those shackles, well, it’s amazing and liberating.  I lost my family when I transitioned, but winning them back has led to a new and deeper relationship, with my kids, with my mother, and now, after nine years, even with my ex-wife and my brother’s family.

“Somehow, I feel it’s time to get engaged again, to do something where I connect with the world and bring all of me to bear.”

To me, the amazing thing about transpeople, even though the episodic nature of our lives, filled with turns and struggles and incubation, with time in the wilderness, is how we link things.

“In a culture where gender is rigidly bi-polar, rituals of gender crossing remind us of our continuous common humanity,” goes my mission statement.

For TBB, that commonality and connection was missing a bit in the world of gender crossers, so she created what became the biggest annual conference in the world as a place where everyone of them felt welcome and empowered.

She created a link, she did, between TV and TS, between MTF and FTM, between the intellectuals and the partiers.   And because I was linked to her, I felt the connection between the wild, revolutionary gender outlaws and the tamer, evolutionary gender explorers, who valued their families but also needed more.

It wasn’t about assimilation or individuality for her, it was about honouring the balance that each individual made for themselves.   And that means it was about honouring the links that each of us made as transpeople to connect the wider web, to share a continuous common humanity that celebrated connection by valuing unique expression.

Today, the truth that opening our heart unlocks the best of us is profound in her.  She has struggled to get that sick out of her butt ass and found a rhythm & flow that connects her with herself, her creator and her world.

And that’s Sabrina.