Growing Pains

Hey everyone,

It has been a minute, hasn’t it? Well my GPA survived last semester relatively unscathed, which was a miracle given the trials and tribulations of those months. Now I have one semester left. More accurately, I have half a semester left. Then I suppose my name will change again. This time, it will be Harris R. Mason, J.D.

This semester, I’ve been running myself ragged in an internship with a local Superior Court Judge. Interestingly enough, until this past Friday, I have no reason to believe the Judge or her Staff Attorney know I’m trans. I didn’t tell them, at least. I thought it would be interesting to find out what it would be like at a job with no one knowing. It’s been interesting and relatively uneventful. Trans issues have popped up a few times, but luckily everything has worked out in a way that didn’t make me feel like I needed to out myself, or conversely, nothing about my own gender entered the equation. But perhaps they’ll find out after reading the article the School published…

I’m on spring break now, and honestly I’m feeling a little lonely. Yesterday, I went to the Athens Trans Support Group meeting. We went around the circle and shared what we wanted to add into our lives for the upcoming spring season. I said I’d like to start writing my blog again. So here I am.

Tonight, I watched Paris is Burning for the first time. I miss my trans people. It was really nice to go to the meeting. There were quite a few trans guys there, and we had lunch together afterward. They invited me to go to Sister Louisa’s for drinks. I planned to go, but then I didn’t feel like it when the time came.

So I was featured in a little write-up that was in an e-newsletter published on Friday. I talked about being the first openly transgender man to graduate from the law school–about how emotionally draining it has been to educate people on transgender-related issues. I also talked about the support I’ve received over the past 2.5 years.

It’s more complicated than what made the published product. I realized I haven’t been able to forgive like I thought I had before doing this interview. I can’t help but still be a little hurt and angry. There have been many wonderful people help me on this journey. But some of those wonderful people have hurt me badly too. No one has ever meant to hurt me, but ignorant actions still hurt. I’ve found it has been helpful to remember that the problems I’ve faced have been systemic, rather than individual biases against me. It has helped me come to terms with how I’ve been feeling lately.

I’ve also slowly been realizing that empathy and understanding aren’t just for people of less privilege than I have. To make change you have to meet people where they are. This has been really hard for me to do, because meeting people where they are usually means prolonging my hurt until they catch up to where I need them to be. But they’re called “growing pains” for a reason, and one day we’ll get to where we need to be.

Until then, I can focus on the fact that the University of Georgia School of Law published an article celebrating the graduation of an openly transgender person, and that’s something to be proud of.

All the best,

Harris

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