So tomorrow is "Good Friday" - a name that totally confused me as a young (pre-recovering) Catholic child. Why is it good? Because Jesus died? If so, since when is being politically executed a good thing?
Or maybe it's good because he eventually comes back from the dead - if so, then shouldn't it be "bad Friday" and "good Sunday"?
Or maybe it's good because Jesus supposedly died for our sins? Well in world where that pope guy still insists that transsexuality and same-sex relationships are "sins", does that mean that I am forgiven? Or would I have had to be born back in the B.C. days to have been forgiven? Even if Jesus did die for *my* sins, is that something that I, as a moral human being, should be celebrating - political executions/martyrdoms that personally benefit me?
In any case, tomorrow represents an important anniversary for me. It was on Good Friday 22 years ago that I first presented as female in public!
I've already written about this on two separate occasions. I talked about it in a piece I wrote back around 2005-ish called "Cherry Picking" (which should be appearing in an anthology sometime later this year). Here's what I said about it there:
The first time that I ever went out in public dressed as a woman was when I was 21. I came home from college for Easter weekend while the rest of my family was away on a trip. I shaved off the silly looking beard I had grown over the semester. I put on my sister’s black cotton knit dress. It had long sleeves, so that no one could see my arm hair, and I wore opaque tights to hide my leg hair. I’m sure that I put way too much make-up on my face and way too much product in my hair, but nobody seemed to care because it was the eighties. I drove to a mall about an hour away from my parent’s house so that I wouldn’t run into anyone who knew me. As I approached the entrance, an older man held the door open for me and called me “sweetie”. I felt flattered and insulted at the same time, but mostly, I was just amazed to be getting away with this. After walking around the mall for about ten minutes, I realized that I was hungry and hadn’t eaten all morning. I drove to a Burger King for a shake and fries. The woman at the drive-thru window said, “Thank you ma’am,” as she handed me my change and receipt. I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful those three simple words sounded to me.
I also wrote about this meaningful moment in my life in song form - specifically a Bitesize song called "In the Know". For the occasion, I am temporarily making it available mp3-wise at this link:
for those who are interested, here are the lyrics to that song:
as you drove through illinois/i was super paranoid/sneaking out of our garage/head to toe in camouflage/but no!/i’m never gonna let you know.../while you were pumping gasoline/i spent a day in quarantine/writing run-on paragraphs/in the bedroom aftermath/but no!/i’m never gonna let you know.../your toothpaste/your mouthwash/your hair brush/your dental floss/your wash cloth/your lotion/your saline solution/all of your stuff is staring back at me/it makes me feel guilty but i’m not gonna crack/but no!/i’m never gonna let you know...
As I have written elsewhere, my Catholic upbringing really fucked me over as a young child trying to make sense of my trans-ness. So it is somewhat satisfying to know that a crucial positive moment in my trans life occurred on a sacred Catholic holiday…