How many of you believe that Times Square could have been this empty? When the movie "The world, the flesh, and the devil" was made, the film makers were able to empty NYC streets for short periods of time at daybreak to shoot many iconic scenes which depict Harry Belafonte's character as the only living person in New York after a cataclysmic disaster. How many of us could stand to be this lonely? How many of us could go on living before deciding to end the loneliness by taking our own lives?
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Over the years, I have read many Facebook entries where Transgender people I know are one step away from taking their own lives. The "Black Dog" of depression gets to them when other things in their lives are pulling them down. And there is nothing I can do, except offer my hand of friendship and hope that someone will grab it so I can help them get out of their collective ruts."Rut" is too soft a word here. But there is nothing I can find that accurately describes the lack of hope than many people feel when the Black Dog bites.
I've been very lucky myself. Unlike many transgender folk who have lost their families, lost many of their friends, and have lost their jobs, I am in good shape. Yet, I am vulnerable, and I have managed my life relatively well. Since I started to go out as Marian, I have outed myself to only one family member - and she is cool with things. Most of my friends know that I am TG, and I haven't lost anyone important - yet. And I lost my job due to corporate downsizing, not because I am TG. I have a pension, and enough financial assets to make it to retirement age as long as I manage my assets well AND we don't have hyper inflation.
What about other transgender folk? How can they get to a stable place where they can grow as people and live without many fears? This is a big problem in a world where we are discriminated against by many, and savagely attacked by others who fear what we are. Like Belafonte's character in the film, we are better than the "old world" we came from. And yet, like his character, we have to struggle with problems from our pasts.
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It took a couple of generations before the federal government recognized that Gays and Lesbians have the same rights as Heterosexuals. And yet, they are fighting to preserve their hard won rights. We are in the early stages of our struggle. But I expect things will go much quicker for us, as many of the traditionalists who hate us are quickly dying out. Ours will not be a war won quickly. But it will take much less time for us to win, because of the prior victories of Gays and Lesbians.
Don't give up hope. The light at the end of the tunnel is not from an oncoming train.