Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I'll Miss You Kris

It's been over a week now since I heard the news that Kris is no longer with us. Kris is a friend that I met in late 2004 at a transgender support group meeting. To my surprise it was revealed in the meeting that he was an ftm - female to male. I can honestly say that I would not have known this based on appearances, mannerisms, clothing, or voice. It wasn't long before I found out that Kris had a rough time of his transgender journey, but it seemed to me as though he was finally moving in a direction that suited him. Each time I saw him he seemed so energetic, upbeat and lively. He was very knowledgeable and excited about the various medical procedures in the area of ftm surgery, but he was also always ready to tell a joke, always talking about things he wanted to try, and the events of his day. After I got to know him better he'd occasionally talk about the darker parts of his life. It was from knowing of these events and how they affected him that I was not surprised to hear that his death was at his own hand.

A simplistic view of trangenderism is that all it takes is a change of body, clothes and lifestyle to become whole. In truth that is only a portion of the struggle because even though you may be dealing with your transgenderism just fine, you still have to live in a world that doesn't accept it as easily or as fully. When a person is seen as some state between the two genders they stand out as incongruous and different. In my experience many people are fine with it, but it does make some people upset to a greatly varying degree. This is a problem because all transgenders are between genders. We're never fully able to change over, and even if we could, some wouldn't. I think that no matter how well we may pass, or how long we've been doing it, it is very difficult to stop seeing the incongruities and differences, and just as it does in others this results in ourselves being upset to some degree. I don't know what specifically was going on with Kris, but being transgendered causes hurt that runs pretty deep. It makes the most commonplace activities in life very complicated. It makes living an ordinary life seem impossible. I'd like to be angry with him for doing what he did... but I'm not. I can understand why he did it. I've had my own thoughts in that area at one time, I so understand it, but it is frightening to see evidence that I may have only temporarily put them behind me.

I wish I could tell him that the times I spent with him often cheered me up at a time in my life when I really needed it. He was obviously hurting inside, but he was still able to bring a smile to my face. He was important to me, and he will be missed.


Anonymous said...

I can't understand how someone can get so low that they feel they have no alternative but death.
My life is good, organized, stable, happy. I work with a guy that has clinical depression. He is a great guy, but his life is none of these things (well, he hyper-organizes to try and avoid unpleasantness). And I really cannot understand how he can feel the way he does without being able to deal with it.
Sarah, what I wanted to say to you on this subject was that there are always choices that do not include taking your own life, and it seems to me that you found the choice that best fits what you want. Kris's actions are not evidence that you may not have put this choice behind you, they are evidence that he did not put this choice behind him. We are each responsible for ourselves, and our choices are our own. We take on the responsibility of others, but in the end what they do and what they choose is completely up to them.

Sarah J M said...

You are right of course Shaynec. I'm a totally different person and in no way will share the same fate. When I wrote that I was pretty sad/depressed I guess, but sometimes you just feel like you don't belong anywhere.