Yesterday afternoon, Char was crossing a street in the Tenderloin. A man with a group of about four of his buddies pulled out a gun, pointed it at my lover, and said “Let’s kill this tranny.”
Char ran. They were not pursued. No shots were fired. They are alive and OK.
This is the reason why when Char is half an hour late getting home I start to expect the worst. It’s certainly not the first time shit like this has happened. It’s just a fact of Char’s life, and therefore, now, of mine.
I have so much love for Char, and so much wonder for the miracle of their survival. Diabetic, a recovering alcoholic drug addict, the survivor of transphobic attempted murder— the fact that they are still breathing is unlikely, wondrous, and precious. They must have nine lives or more. I respect them so much for weathering what they’ve been through, and for not letting it break them.
Yesterday, I watched with disbelief as they just picked themselves up and moved on. They even laughed about it. When I heard that sweet, evil cackle of theirs I couldn’t believe that anybody would want them dead. Their smile, their wise eyes, their warmth and kindness and sense of irony and unbelievable strength are astounding. That anybody could see their whole life and everything that they are as just trash, as just something to destroy for shits and giggles, stuns and infuriates me.
I don’t know if I want to live in a world this horrible, where people want somebody like Char dead just for daring to live. But I am gonna live because the least I can do is be as audacious as Char and keep surviving. No fucking way am I gonna leave them alone now.
I just wish we could get away to somewhere far away, some island or some cabin in the mountains, but as an insulin dependent diabetic Char really can’t go off the grid. I just wish there were some place of refuge. But we’re already in San Francisco, the place where people like us run away to. I guess the only thing to do, really, is to stay and fight. Try to make it better. Our backs are to the wall. Our only hope is in surrounding ourselves with more strong, resilient trans people, so that maybe all of us can look out for each other, and together, grasp at the little moments of safety and happiness, and forget all the indignities and all the danger, just for a little while.