Friday, June 7, 2013

Oh, That Magic Feeling

On May 29, I had my sixth annual talk at Southern New Hampshire University. This time was a bit different as the instructor, Traci Belanger was away at a conference plus I'm battling a bad varicose vein and tendinitis, both in the left leg, making it impossible to stand and pace in front of the class as usual.

Every class has been great all along and though I'm usually quite nervous beforehand, this I didn't feel as anxious . Some classes are more talkative than others, but Traci forewarned me hat this class was very talkative and already had a ton of questions for me, which made me relax more going into the evening.

This class was the best one yet. Five minutes into the night they were firing away with great questions and my two and a half hours just flew by. I hardly got to tell a lot of things important, but it was better because I was able to answer the things they wanted to know, instead of what I felt they should know, which keeps hings more interesting for all parties. All great questions, some quite personal, but I find it best to just answer honestly and let the chips fall where they may. This is one time i can honestly say I think I enjoyed enjoyed the class more than the students themselves.

Below are the comments Traci received this past week, and one I received on Face Book. I have no idea who said what, because it really doesn't matter. I usually to hear the negative along with the positive as it'll help me learn and once again, there were zero negatives, all positives.

Yeah, I'll be glad to speak again next year. Heck, I'm already counting down the days.

I just want to say thank you for speaking in our class today, you are a strong woman and don't ever change. Anyone would be honored to be your friend...

“ I found the articles about Cynthia extremely interesting, so much so that I couldn’t stop reading others on the blog! I am eager to hear her speak to us in person and learn more about her. She reminds me of an old friend’s father, who I met when she was in the pre-surgery transition to becoming a woman. Her name was Sarah. Sarah was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Her oldest daughter was a good friend of mine and invited me over for girls’ night at her dad’s. While we sat and talked, Sarah brushed my hair. I will never forget her telling me how much she wished she had beautiful, thick hair like me. She was taking the estrogen pills, but her hair was still very thin as it grew. I told her not to worry, she would get there.


 My friend’s name was Sam and she was very accepting of her father’s choice, but her younger sister had a much more difficult time with it. I actually bought a book a few years back, which is a collection of Carly’s diary and livejournal pages, reflecting her life through her own words. There are many entries in her diary and journal written about the hatred she felt towards her father. Being only in seventh grade when she found out, she was too young to understand the situation, and instead felt embarrassed by it. She has since accepted it and again has a healthy relationship with her dad again. I haven’t seen Sarah in several years, but she is someone who I will never forget. She was truly an inspiration to never stop fighting for what you want, no matter what others may think.”

I also found Cynthia to be very interesting and I enjoyed learning more about her choices. I thought she did a great job explaining everything and about her life. Nothing irks me more than people who do not support gay marriage and the transgender community. I was always taught not to judge others. I just don't understand how people get so worked up about other's choices, especially when it doesn't even affect them directly. It definitely takes a lot of strength and courage to live in this world today and it is sad that everyone cannot just be accepted for who they are.

I was so excited about this speaker and loved getting to know about this lifestyle. I found Cynthia to be very open about talking about everything she has gone though she answered every question I had to ask and I ask some that were very personal. She was a trooper regarding how to explain all of her ups and downs. I personally am very excepting of the gay community but have only ever been surrounded by gay men and lesbian women. I find myself sometimes struggling to understand the world they have to deal with and have tried to put myself in their shoes and don't think that I could so be strong and stand your ground all should be able to find happiness.

I had read the articles before meeting Cynthia and it was after I met her that I reread them and the articles were much more meaningful after.  Her story is inspirational.  I have to tell you I have like a girl crush on her- that's how much I admire her bravery.  Her openness, honesty, and her sense of humor have opened my eyes to a subject I initially felt pretty neutral about.  Its neat experience to be able to view life as both a man and a woman. The aspects that she contended with and the decision to go and seek a non reversible procedure, and then to have to save enough money for it.  I can barely save enough for a skirt from piperlime before I lose interest in it let alone to reassign my gender.  It must be agony for those who desire it or need it and it is just an improbability to achieve.   

Right! I was really inspired by her bravery and determination too! After reading about her and listening to her story, I was kinda ashamed of myself for not being able to pursue my dream job since childhood, which is to become a Civil Engineer. I believe it's really hard for her to make up the decision to go for surgery, but now that she's happy living as Cynthia, I'm really glad for her!

                I agree with you that we need to embrace people’s decisions no matter what they are. Before Wednesdays class, I thought that race, religion, and sexual orientation were the only things that people had to deal with. Unfortunately, I was wrong especially with dealing with gender neutral individuals and their way of life. I never knew anything about this lifestyle until meeting Cynthia, and after that, my views have changed slightly. Overall, it’s a pretty interesting topic, and one that I am sure will have a profound place in our society.

I can agree with your feelings of being inspired after meeting her and talking with her. It was such a great experience and one that not many have had. I really enjoyed when she said that her way of bringing about awareness is to simply talk with classes as she did with us and allow those she speaks to and with to spread the information and share the experience with others. I think that's a great way to do it and keeps it from being too overwhelming for her both physically and for her own safety perhaps.

I totally enjoyed class Wednesday - it just flew!  I thought about Cynthia a lot in the following days and what she went through.  She was a real inspiration to me - to make the decision to go through the gender reassignment surgery even though she was going to upset her mother and lose friends, possibly her job, was so brave.  She could have lived as a very unhappy man for the rest of her life because it was easier, but she took the leap and did what she needed to do to live a happy life.  I found her to be open, funny and real - something she probably wasn't when she felt like she was living a lie.  Thanks for opening my eyes Cynthia!

Cynthia's story was not only educational but inspirational! I think that though she had to overcome a lot of struggles, she did what she felt was right and her attitude about it great! In the articles, it stated that this project was to educate people. As Corey said, "transgenders are people, just like you and I" and it is the truth! I really enjoyed her story, truly inspirational.

Meeting and talking with Cynthia was a great experience.  She answered any and all questions that were asked and added a few things of her own.  Her story is one of bravery.  It takes a lot of courage to change your entire life, especially when it involves the possibility of never fitting in.  She seems to be very comfortable in her new skin so to speak.  She is a very brave woman, but the way I look at it is you should live your life according to your own plan, you should never worry what anyone else does or thinks.

I knew they’d love you….{{MAJOR HUGS}}

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