Sunday, December 01, 2013

Our Tribe and ma vie en rose

The plan was for us to watch a DVD of “Ma vie en rose” together.

This is a tender and beautiful film about a young child who knows he’s a girl and that all this being a boy business is actually a big mistake. 

For Our Tribe to watch it together seemed like a good way to end the month of Transgender Remembrance ( because Our Tribe is the place for LGBT people in our church (

I love this film. It is so rare to come across any representation of our lives; and rarer still for them to be so positive and funny and affirming.

The first time I watched it I was in my usual state of isolation; watching it again with so many other trans people in the audience made it incredibly powerful.

I can’t say it represented my childhood because was astonishingly more repressed; unlike the film’s main character I had no sister and was strongly removed from all feminine contact from a young age. Including my own mother.

And denied all forms of feminine expression. Except, bizarrely, in the school plays...

But the inner life of the child in the film was most emphatically the inner life I would have had, if I had dared to.

It moved me so very deeply.

Mostly I am grateful for the person I am. Grateful to have  loved as a man, grateful aboove all to have been the parent of two children. So grateful to be a grandma. Grateful to have found myself as a writer; and so grateful now to be able to live as a woman.

But watching this film I found myself possessed by the profoundest grief; by deep mourning for the young girl I never was and never now will become.

It was starting to overwhelm me.... and then the DVD broke down. I didn’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved.

It felt as though it opened a door into a part of myself that still needs exploring.

But DVD or no, we did what we needed to do. 

We came together. We broke the bread. We drank the wine.

We remembered our dead.

And we celebrate our living.

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