Erin has a couple of spare inches. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a few, mine are around my waist. Hers are located elsewhere. My gender, genetics and sexual orientation all match what society, and I, expect to see so I can not truly comprehend what her life is like. I am often upset by what I see in the mirror, so maybe I can understand a fraction of what she feels when she looks at herself, but that’s about the closest I can get. I have a cyst on my face. I lived with it for years until I could afford the removal. I’ve had it removed three times, but it keeps coming back. It was at one point the diameter of a nickel and was a half inch high white waxy lump that stung and tingled. I tended to stay at home because I was so embarrassed. When it was that large I could see it whenever I looked down. It’s located between the edge of my nose and the corner of my mouth. It distorted my mouth and the inside of my lip was raw from being rubbed between it and my teeth. It’s not like that now, most people don’t notice it except for the grayish discoloration and the scarring but for many years I experienced people staring, whispering, and being grossed out, even nauseated, by my face. I know the pain of being rejected and ostracized for something beyond your control, where no one seems to care to look below the surface and see the person that is me. Unless you emerged as a whole, perfect adult you have experience with people rejecting you too.
Erin and I don’t talk. A few times our tweets have crossed and I think I left a comment at her blog that she replied to once. Considering I normally fly under the radar that’s a lot of interaction and I should probably throttle it back. :D She seems like a bit of an odd duck, but I’m an odd duck too. I’m just odd in ways that are easier for society to accept. I’d love to wave my pom pons around and say hey Erin, I think that’s fantastic! It’s so wonderful that you are who you are and you’re great! It’s not in my nature. My nature runs more towards disappointing my friends and relatives who come out by saying uh-huh. I made a friend of mine cry once because she told me that the Joe she had been talking about incessantly was a woman named Jo and that I was the first person she’d ever come out to outside of her immediate family. I said okay. That’s good to know and got back to what we’d been talking about. A little while later she brought up her sexual orientation again, probing to see if there was going to be some sort of delayed reaction. I looked her flat in the eye and said I really wasn’t surprised. You look at some women like I look at chocolate. I didn’t figure it was anything I needed to worry about, and I still don’t. I wouldn’t go up to her (gesturing to a women out with a man and children) and say I think it’s so great that you’re a heterosexual. I’m really happy that you are attracted to and have sex with the opposite gender, that’s just fantastic! Do you think that because I’m not saying similar things to you that I’m not being supportive? If you feel the need to hear me say such things I will, but I feel it’s only fair to warn you that I suck at being fake. I do care. I care because people will treat you badly. I care because I love you and I want you to be happy. I can’t change how the world is going to react, but the way I feel and what I think of you hasn’t changed. To my credit I have great taste in friends, she blinked for a minute then started laughing her head off and gave me a great big hug and then we got back to talking about the interesting stuff. I’m not a totally accepting and wonderful person, but I don’t think it’s my place to dictate to people what they should think or feel.
I don’t love Erin. I like her blog but I don’t know her. I’m not going to become a cheerleader or read her because she has gender issues. I enjoy her writing. She’s amusing. I like amusing. She bumbles around with things she doesn’t know about, and shares it. I bumble too. I’m not going to tell you to like her, dislike her, add or delete her blog. I am going to say that if you have problems because the reality didn’t match your expectations welcome to the real world, where things rarely line up, aren’t as they appear and simply refuse to stay within your boundaries.