I'm getting back to my normal schedule after a time away. First up was my weekly coffee with my best friend Izza. The world does not stand still for any man, trans or not, and a total remodel of our favorite coffee shop proves this.
It was great seeing my friend, and I could tell the feeling was mutual. We ran over the normal hour and a half by an hour. Needless to say, we had lots to talk about. She told me of the tragedies that befell her in my absence, and I regaled her of my adventures in Germany.
Our conversations are rarely inconsequential, and today was no exception. She is an immigrant, legal, but still an immigrant. While waiting on the great snail of our governmental process, her visa has expired. The INS is fully aware, and has extended her grace period to cover the delay, but still it's unsettling.
For those who know me personally, you know that I am a happy and self confident person who rarely knows the meaning of fear. But this is not her fortune. She now lives in fear of someone, anyone really, disliking her for any reason, and lighting a fire in the INS, resulting in her deportation.
She grew up in deep Mexico, trans, and survived. For such a petty thing as delayed paperwork to strike such fear in her life in unthinkable, yet real.
We all have known our share of fear. The very nature of trans means you grow to know fear. But that fear is really an intangible one. We fear being exposed, ostracized, or shunned. We fear violent repercussions, loss of family or job.
All these fears are applicable to most of us, but usually are way overblown. Most of these fears are self generated, something we finally understand after coming out. In 5 years I have yet to encounter a truly negative response. But I'm lucky.
Back to Izza, her fear is very real, very tangible. If she gets deported, she loses everything. Family, both wife & kids and Parents & siblings. Plus the real possibility of physical violence and even death for being returned to her macho driven culture.
And through this all, she persist on telling me lithe good things that have happened to her while I was gone. She smiles and tells me how glad she is that I am back.
We need to keep perspective on how good we really have it. Make that your every day first thought, be thankful that we have so little to really be afraid of, compared to others.
Trans is a privilege not a problem, politics are a problem.