Kate said, and I quote
..my belief that Zoe is an extraordinary person..Which is very nice of her, and boosts my ego, but with all due respect to a woman who I deeply admire, I'm not sure it's true.
I have been put in an extraordinary position, sure. And I seem to be doing rather well. But monster of arrogance and ego that I am - and I'm not joking there - even I can't bring myself to believe that I'm an "extraordinary person".
I've been immensely fortunate, with my family and friends. I've been at least as fortunate in being born where and when I was.
There are, right now, people like me literally starving to death in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. They deserve rights equal to my own, but they're not getting them. Had I been born just a century earlier, I would likely have died at age 4 from whooping-cough. The vaccine only partly worked on me as it was, and I was very sick indeed. I also had my appendix out in my early teens, and if I had been born in 1858 not 1958, that would likely have killed me too. There must be a dozen times when my medical conditions could have killed me if I had been born in Angola rather than England, or just a few generations earlier.
I also have the privilege of being, if not exactly rolling in filthy lucre, at least having enough to eat, access to clean water, and protection from the elements. I have enough money too (just) for the hormones I need to take. And not every TS person in Australia can say that. Many who use the Gender Centre as a refuge "live rough", homeless, and destitute.
But they live - many of them. They, to me, are the extraordinary ones. The teens thrown out of home - as I was not - for "disgracing the family". The ones who see their only chance of eating, let alone saving for necessary surgery, is to peddle their bodies. Some make it. Some become resounding successes, despite these huge handicaps. Many do not though.
Compared to them, I'm very ordinary indeed. I'm privileged. I had parents who loved me, and sacrificed much just so I could have the best education they could get for me. I have a family, I have a son, and considering just how weird my endocrine system is, that is nothing short of miraculous.
Even my extraordinary circumstances were necessary to make me the woman I am. Not quite the standard model, but close enough. I keep on trying to imagine a male version of me. That person would be quite different in ways I really can't comprehend. I like to think he would be like my father, another extraordinary person I was privileged to not just to know, but to be his daughter, not that he knew it at the time. Not that I did either, not completely.
So this post is for the truly extraordinary people I have known. The ones who survived rape, and torture, and being penniless, and the many soul-destroying, searing and devastating experiences I didn't have to.