November is fast approaching and it got me thinking “Where Did 2018 Go?”
This year whizzed by with such aggressive speed and with unrelenting force that it’s left me a bit worse for wear and reeling in many facets of my life...which has caused me to stop and reflect on the past two years of my life and try to take it all in piece by piece.
If 2017 was a year of rediscovery, reinventing, and revitalization... 2018 has been a year of rejection, failure, and loss. Now, to be fair, a good chunk of those things happened in 2017 too, but I didn’t feel the full effect of it all until now, especially with all of the “NEW” and “HAPPY” that came from a single bold step.
But now that 2018 is coming to a close, it’s all coming down a bit harder and faster than I would have liked.
I’ve lost people who once stood by me “no matter what”, I felt the sting of rejection not for my abilities or lack thereof but for “who” and “what” I am, I saw the failure and breakdown of communication in already strained familial relationships, and I’m currently preparing myself for an inevitable upcoming loss.
Before coming out, before transitioning, I knew that adversity paved the ground in front of me, it was part of the reason I had waited so long to do so. How friends, family, those I looked up to, etc treated groups like that & how they spoke of them shaped my fears and worldview. An “act” is easiest to describe a younger me, someone who fit the role that those around me wanted me to be. Shedding that off, taking off the disguise, it was invigorating and filled me with a sense of purpose for myself, those around me, and those who may follow the path I began to create.
The last 24 months have really tested me in ways I thought I was prepared for. I knew hate, ignorance, and bigotry would greet me around every corner, both old and new, and I thought that greeting it with a smile would give me an upper hand.
Arguments with what small remaining blood relatives I have became ever constant.
Reading the news every morning broke my heart and filled me with continued dread.
Prayers being made to “cure” me of what I had “become” were made.
Long standing dreams, once within reach, zoomed away to a painfully far distance.
Harassment became an everyday occurrence, and it was normalized.
Professional doors closed, personal relationships died, internal struggles persisted.
It’s no secret that I’ve spent the last year pouring myself fully into VO work, and I’ve met some amazingly talented and lovely people, I’ve gotten roles in projects I’m excited to be in with hardworking and compassionate folks...yet, despite those great moments, they are tainted by a few experiences of disrespect, unprofessionalism, and hate.
To be direct, I was told “You cannot play a woman, because you’re not one. Our company doesn’t approve of men who audition for female roles.” The response went into more detail, and I don’t fully know if that was the company’s actual views or just the views of the vocal and casting director for the project, but you can understand why this has stuck in my mind and heart.
So...with all that and the news that hit yesterday, I felt an all too familiar pain shoot through me, and it came at a time where I’m struggling to feel sympathy for those “closest to me” who are struggling yet continue to deny and persecute my existence as a woman, as a wife, as a daughter, as a person. To many, I don’t “exist”. Yet though these people may not have a place in my life anymore, I still hope the best for them.
Though 2018 hasn’t been kind to me I’ll continue to be kind to those around me...and I’ll keep moving forward.
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