RIP, Leslie Feinberg
“I didn’t want to be different. I longed to be everything the grownups wanted, so they would love me. I followed all their rules, tried my best to please. But there was something about me that made them knit their eyebrows and frown. No one ever offered a name for what was wrong with me. That’s what made me afraid it was really bad. I only came to recognize its melody through this constant refrain: ‘Is that a boy or a girl?'”
-Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues
With that single paragraph, my entire world cracked open. I remember reading it over and over again, so in awe of seeing my feelings, my hurts, reflected back to me for the first time. I knew from that moment that that book would change my life.
And it did. It was as though I had been wandering in the darkness for years, and suddenly there was a pinpoint of light. And as I read, the pinpoint became bigger and bigger and bigger until it finally encompassed me. Until I knew, for the first time, that I had a home, a history, a people.
Leslie, I will never have the words to properly thank you for showing me the way home. I am so sorry that this world took so much from you, so often. That you had to suffer as much as you did. May you rest in peace.
All of my love,