Thursday, October 24, 2013

Letting Sarah Live, on screen and in words

For some years now a professor has been gathering sound bites and short videos of my transition and story. When we started it was going to be just about my transition and how I reacted about my betting breast cancer after 15 months on my HRT program.  However since he knows about my history from other friends and my children from other connections, he has morphed this project into something bigger. He is trying to get a story of how my grown children have reacted and dealt with watching their father fade away and finding Sarah.

Mark has set a date to finish this film for himself and for us, my family for the purpose of showing other families that how we managed. Both the good and the bad. His date of the premier, if you will, will be sometime in the middle of November. I am not quite sure just how it will be marketed or if my daughter and son will agree to let it be put on youtube. But we all agree this story, our stories must be told, not for us but for all families who might be struggling with coming to terms for a family member who might be transitioning.

For as many of the professors who we have talked to their classes, wherever we show this for the first time there might be a crowd. I have been on pins and needles about this, knowing he tells a good story, but my difficulty will be watching my story unfold in video form. Regardless of the fact that we have told our story to so many classes over the years, describing my life in words with slides is very different that watching a video of yourself and your families thoughts and feelings.

For the past six year or so I have been trying to put my memoirs into some sort of book form. It has grown from 150 pages with my first edition, to a manuscript of 320 pages in it's seventh edition or such. After finally getting a finished book, I got the nerve to let someone else read it and make suggestion and comments about content and construction. I included all my trans poetry and parts of my Life Journal that I kept during the early years of my transition. This is a telling of my gender variant journey mixed in with my military years and my adventures as I tried to find myself.

  When I got the manuscript back, I couldn't believe my emotional and physical reaction to someone actually reading my book. I got a sick feeling in my gut and felt like I did when I got caught dressed full of fear and nerves on edge. I was walking around in a fog, and could not grasp all the emotions I was feeling now that someone had actually read my book and was giving me her opinions. Several people have read this final version and now that I am satisfied I will begin to figure the best was to get it published because everyone agrees that this must be told, just as the film must be shown.

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