In my short time here at ChicagoNow, I have had the opportunity to meet some very talented writers. This month, I have invited a few of them to guest blog for me, to write about their experiences in their words with their feelings. I want Trans Girl at the Cross not only to be my views and experiences but draw in others from outside the trans community. We live in a big world and I believe we can learn from the experiences of each other. So let me introduce Tara Scalzo; wife, mother, blogger and marketing guru. She is the author of Red & Company.
Growing up, I was a dork. I was short, had dark red hair and big glasses that ate up half my face. I participated in band and drama while drooling over 80’s icons like Adam Ant and Duran Duran. My clothes were weird and my social skills were, um, non-existent. I was a wallflower throughout my formative years, afraid to open my mouth for fear of saying something stupid. My thoughts were never my own, so I followed the path most traveled, regardless of my intuition. I was always six steps behind everyone and killing myself to fit into a tiny, judgmental box. I wanted everyone to like me, desperately trying to please every pallet, so I tried to do what I thought everyone expected of me. Even then, it was a crap shoot.
I wanted to be cool. I wanted to fit in. But I was always quickly reminded that once again, I was just a dork.
As an adult, my world is completely different. I’m comfortable with my imperfections, and am more than willing to admit to my flaws. Like most people, through decades of education and life experience, I’ve realized that the world isn’t perfect, nor will it ever be. And neither will I be. I’m proud to say that my heart is big and my compassion runs deep, which has allowed me to meet so many different people.
I’m big on integrity. If you say what you mean and do what you say, then I don’t give a crap who you’re sleeping with, how you dress or what you do for a living. If you’re a good person that is loyal and shows respect to others, then I’ll love ya forever.
When I first learned about Meggan through ChicagoNow, my interest was piqued. As a blogger myself, it’s always great to meet other bloggers. Despite what most think, as many bloggers as there are in the world, our world can be incredibly small. Most of us work from home, so the social interaction is almost nothing (thank the Heavens for Facebook.) Then I saw that she lived in the next town south of me, 15 minutes away. Again, a huge thrill to know that another writer lived just a short drive away. BOOYA!
Then I read her story; how she came to be who she is today. And I was blown away.
It was the perfect storm. I knew then that I had to meet her in person.
I grew up in a non-judgmental household and had a few homosexual family members, so being ‘different’ wasn’t really new to me. But to be honest, I had never known a transgender before. My only experience had been from what I’d seen on TV, including Chaz Bono while he was undergoing his transition. Such a distant understanding, quite visceral. I wanted to change that. So I asked her for a coffee date.
As soon as we met, the connection was instant. As a writer, as a parent, as a human, we had so much in common. The conversation easily flowed. It was comfortable. This was good. Yes, I was intrigued by her story, and when the time came, I asked more questions, which she easily requited. She was completely open with her life and experience, which made me respect her more. Her disclosure was refreshing, something I rarely encounter. This was good.
The rest, as they say, is history. She’s been to my house multiple times, I’ve been to hers. She’s met my kids, as I have hers. We’ve shared train rides, shopped and shared many meals together. We talk online almost every day, bounce off ideas, vent our frustrations and share our triumphs, ridiculous as they may be. She accepts my faults, buys me wine and lets me swear. I appreciate her love of hot chocolate, scaly reptiles and God. We work with what we have and don’t judge. We talk, just human-to-human, and we laugh. Oh boy, do we laugh!
I finally found someone I can stand outside of the box with. This is good.