Who is the most vulnerable person you have ever taken care of?
I’m a chick. What melts my heart is a story is when people take care of each other. I don’t root for couples to get together for drama or hot romance or dreams, I root for them to take care of each other, and then maybe take care of some babies. A long time ago someone said that what women want is to be taken care of like a queen by someone who deserves to be treated like a king, and that made sense to me.
I like stories about businesses and about rehab because I like to see people taking care of each other, working together to meet each others needs. Maybe it’s because I identify as a mom that I love this so much. Being a parent is about creating family, and family is about the symbiotic taking care of each other.
I used to write a lot about the role of the parent, so much so it got me kicked off a butch-femme list. They wanted to play out their own dreams, not take on their own responsibilities. But the parent, especially the sandwich parent who cares for both children and their aging parents, well, that’s a role I understand. After all, I started taking care of my own parents and siblings when I was only in single digits.
As a transperson, I understand how many of us feel denied the opportunity to take care of others, especially children. That denial of responsibility can leave us feeling immature and self-centered, because we aren’t trusted to take care. We may think that all we want is to be taken care of, but the act of caring for another is profound in itself, getting us out of ourselves, opening our hearts and our minds. When we have to understand the struggles of another, we become bigger people.
I was holding down the table at the Pride Walk, where we had a pile of Hershey kisses. A butch woman and a boy came by, and he wanted a candy. She checked to make sure there were no nuts, and then authorized him to have one. He came back for another, so I looked back at the woman, now about twenty feet away, with a quizzical look. She gave me the nod, so I gave him the candy. It’s a mom thing.
I know that trans is a very individual and personal journey. But if it becomes a very self-centred journey, then we have no context other than our own feelings, and that can leave us lost.
And if we become too self-centred to care for someone else, then we also lose the chance for relationships where we take care of each other. And as a chick, well, those are the kind of relationships that melt my heart, maybe because I see them melting the hearts of others.
I wish I was taken care of better, yes. But stop taking care of others? I just couldn’t.