I sit here in shock and fury.
I heard today about a former client, a gentle soul who worked to overcome the anxiety that crippled her daily activities and a depression that repeatedly sang to her a siren song of suicide's temptation.
Adopted as a child she never quite felt she fit in with her Anglo family. But, going back to her Hispanic parents didn't provide a fit either. No where felt a good fit until one day, she realized she loved women. She came out and dated girls. Her parents tolerated this, supported it, questioned it when she occasionally had a crush on a boy.
Her anxiety was a roller coaster that heeded only a medicinal brake. Her depression erupted in rages that were always self-directed. Weekly I would see her bruised, cut, sometimes battered body.
However, she worked and she got better. She found a steady girlfriend and learned to trust that someone could love her.
Once she found some sense of stability and security, she began to talk about her real desire, the desire to be a man.
"I'm not a lesbian. I'm a hetero male trapped in a woman's body, or maybe I'm a gay man, but no matter what, I feel I am a man."
He then asked to be called by male pronouns and changed his name from an obvious female name to a male name. He left to work with a therapist who was transgendered and did well. I heard from him a time or two and he returned a year after starting testosterone to show me who he "really" was.
We smiled and shared delight in the journey we had experienced together.
Today, I heard he was attacked this past weekend. Attacked viciously and mercilessly by a man claiming to be an off-duty cop. Threatened. Raped repeatedly (not having had bottom surgery yet), and beaten. I don't know the details, only that his family isn't willing to prosecute.
I feel helpless to help him and it makes me tearful. But I am also enraged and I will do something to help the transgendered community. No one, no one, should ever endure such treatment because of someone else's discomfort or homophobia or whatever they want to call their hateful actions.
The client I write of here is a former client who now lives in another state.