This post is about appearance, and an appearance. It's about a woman with all the grace and poise of a 10-ton truck, and a pushed-in face that would not look out of place on a bulldog. A woman of 47 from a hicksville place, a spinster, unemployed and living alone with her cat. Never been married, never dated, never been kissed. Not just plain, Ugly. A joke. Hopelessly out of place amongst the young and the beautiful, the glamorous and sexy performers she was amongst. Strictly Comedy relief.
Now please watch this video.
She's not Trans. But the unpretty appearance, and her lonely life, would not be out of place amongst many late transitioners. They too would have looked in the mirror every day, and seen something worse than ugly, deformed and un-natural, until they transition. Un-pretty is a step up for them, not matter how bad they look, and no matter how solitary their consequent existence.
They too would have had to endure the jibe, the barbs, the rolled eyes and mocking laughter. They too would have had to have the courage to continue, to defy the world's mockery and scorn, and throw it back with a good-natured laugh. And they too would have been hurt as she was, because although you can tolerate it, the pain is just as real. You still feel it, even if you don't show it. You just get better at coping with it with practice.
And then... we have the sheer incongruity that she has the voice of an angel, one that belongs to a beautiful diva, not a frump. Not just a talent, a great talent. One that the world has missed out on for 47 years, losing the honour and privilege of listening to her voice because no-one would give her a chance. It is a great loss to the world, and entirely the world's own fault.
She is beautiful. We know that because once she starts to sing, her physical features are forgotten, and we can't help but be entranced by her inner beauty.
That is the first lesson. We take too great a stock on appearance.
Now for the second.
If she had the voice of a bullfrog, a horrible croak, she would be no less beautiful and courageous a person. The sheer defiance of the world's hostility that she showed, and the courage and good-nature with which she reacted to the barbs showed that.
I have been granted the privilege of being in the company of many such women. None that I can think of nearly as un-pretty as her, but many who are at best, plain. And some of whom are objectively pretty, even beautiful in the conventional sense too. But all of whom have had to show that same tenacity in the face of adversity, the same ability to carry on despite the hurtful remarks, the insults, and the hatred.
And all of whom would trade a million years of being told they had an "inner beauty" for one day of being able to look in the mirror and feel sexy and beautiful. Even the ones who really do look that way to others. It's part and parcel of being a woman.
If you want to know what being a late-transitioning transwoman is like, to have a true understanding, not merely an intellectual one, view that video again. She's not Trans, but that is really who we are.
My face is not too bad, but my body is like Susan Boyle's and has been since age 6. However, I have been granted the opportunity of exercising my talents before the world where she had not. My talents lie more in Systems Architecture rather than music of course. I'm glad that finally she may be getting the recognition and opportunity to excel that she deserves.