Last night was my speaking engagement in Burlington, Kentucky for a group called "Love Must Win!" I was told it went well-even to the point of a couple in the group used the "I" word with me - inspirational.
Truthfully, while I was deeply humbled and flattered, "inspirational" goes right with "bravery" in my book as words I find hard to accept. I have seen and known many "first responders" and military members who are truly brave. I have just done what I needed to survive-before it was too late for me.
Personally, I was inspired by so many others last night telling their stories. For the most part, 20 something gay guys telling brutal stories of growing up in very un-understanding families. These were the people who opened their group and invited myself and another transgender woman to talk about our pasts.
Sarah, the other trans woman, also survived a brutal past.
For my part, I am a survivor because of age. I told them all, I am living proof the light at the end of the tunnel is not the train. You may not get by unscathed but get by you can. Sure, I tried to oft myself actively and passively but Hey! look, I'm still here.
Until I heard from all the others though, I didn't realize how totally I would be speaking to the choir. After I heard their stories, it is no wonder so many LGBT youth try suicide as the only way out.
Love just has to win-what would John Lennon say?