Alright dear readers, NOW the Unmuffled Mind is fired up. Screw the muttering for today, today I am going toshout my message to the heavens because by God I think it’s needed.

As many of you know (or have hopefully figured out by reading this bastion of blog banter) I am a transexual (eek RUN!!) Now, being a transexual is not in of itself a remarkable occurrence (we are frigging everywhere)but I am a small town transexual, and that is a bit rarer. (P.S. if you hadn’t actually managed to figure out I am a transexual let me just say your lack of observation is fucking frightening) Most T guys and girls run for the big city the moment they figure out the truth about themselves (and who wouldn’t? Access to services and a chance at a life devoid of the threat of having your head handed to you every time you have to go grocery shopping is always a win-win) But some of us, through extenuating circumstances or plain stubbornness, stay put (a la the stereotypical cranky elderly person in the rocking chair on the porch refusing to leave the family farm despite the fact that they can no longer drive and the nearest town is 10 miles away)

Let me tell you, life as a small town transexual (or any other flavor of the rainbow for that matter) is not easy. Small towns have a definitive lack of trans friendly. Few to 0 doctors, very few understanding clothiers, distinctly unfriendly barristas and (often) not a hope in hell of an endocrinologist. Often we (small town trans folk) are forced to commute for hours on end (and spend a heck of a lot of money on travel expenses) to reach basic, trans friendly medical care. And that can be horrifically disheartening.

In a recent conversation regarding a trans info network/resource list with a small town trans woman of my acquaintance I was told that I should give up my hope of finding services in small towns, that we should concentrate on the larger centers and not waste our time because “it’s not likely we are going to find any type of medical resource outside of the bigger centers” and I must admit I could almost see the logic in her thoughts. To attempt finding trans friendly services in tiny centers would be like looking for a needle in a haystack and her assertion that our time might better be spent identifying the obvious resources made sense. Over the past week however events in my life have occurred that has led me to the formation of a new opinion.

Sweetheart you are WRONG.

The smallest centers that trans folk live in are exactly the ones who need the focus. Bigger centers have more obvious resources and can therefore be catalogued much faster (and are easier for folks to find on their own) Real small towns don’t have that. If there are trans friendly services to be found they will be hidden, found only by word of mouth.

And yes. They DO need to be found.

Readers of this blog are no doubt aware that I recently attended the meeting of the local queer youth group as a queer resource. The rationale behind my attendance was that, as a former big city queer activist and loudmouth, I could serve as a source of knowledge on queer history, drag etc and possibly provide them with access to the queer library I have so painstakingly compiled.

The sight of so many queer youth clapping excitedly at the prospect of having queer books to read, access to knowledge of queer history (meager as it might be compared to some) and a possibility of learning something about the drag world utterly uplifted me and broke my heart in the same moment. We live in a port city built on lumbering mining and fishing. To this day the rough code of ” traditional family values” is still predominant in a large portion of the populace. Queers (adult ones) skim by mostly by blending in. Queer youth however haven’t had much of a hope in hell of support until very recently.

So too has there been a distinct lack of a hope in hell for trans medical care. After two years living in this town I had pretty much abandoned hope of finding a friendly GP (let alone an endocrinologist). On a whim during a meeting with he fabulous My Buddy (who is probably the most put together, amazingly connected, talented, driven and altogether extraordinary transman I know) I mentioned something about the lack of trans care in our city. My Buddy instantaneously responded by writing down the name of a local trans friendly GP, the exact method of contact I should use to get my foot in the door AND (astonishingly enough) the name of a trans friendly endocrinologist who travels to our fair city once a month! (My Buddy you absolutely astound me some days)

In the beginning these two seemingly unrelated events did nothing to inspire change in my opinion on searching small towns for resources, though they each in their own way granted me some measure of personal hope. However after allowing this knowledge to stew in my mind a few days I began to realize that perhaps I was wrong.

How many towns have one or two trans folks desperate for care they didn’t think was available? How many towns have a queer youth (or more than one) remaining fully buried in the very back of the closet, painfully denying their gender changing proclivities out of fear that no one in their city could possibly understand?

But what if there were more resources than we thought?

Is it right to take the easy way? Is it right to identify the obvious and abandon hope before you have even made an attempt?

You come to this queer youth group. Look into their eyes and tell them it’s right to ignore small towns. You look at the shocked smile of delight on my face when someone told me I could receive the care I am entitled to as a citizen of this province without hours of travel and tell me half measures will suffice.

Go ahead and view the world through that rose colored lens of minimal efforts and “good enough”

But as for me? I prefer to spend the countless frustration filled hours emailing, calling, cajoling, questioning and pleading if I have to.

Why?

Because we’re fucking worth it. 

So get the hell up all of you. Stand tall, embrace yourself. Demand what you need and share the knowledge with others. Live. Dream. And above all?

Never give up hope.

Advertisements

Tell The World What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s