Both Sides Now By Cora Treoir Duncan and Cassi Uberty: I Love You

I’ve had a hard time this month deciding where to set my focus. That’s one of the more powerful reasons I am adding my partner’s name to this column.

Cassi is the Yin to my Yang, the left to my right, the peanut butter to my jelly. We met socially as we simultaneously began our Real Life Test as Transgender Women. Along the way, we’ve propped each other up, shared what we have learned and become more than just friends. I don’t have the time and space to enumerate all the reasons I feel this way: I am already over deadline (Bless you, Susan Jordan, Mother Superior) and driven to the point, the NOW, the moment by what is real. So I will curb my enthusiasm and verbosity and do my best to keep it simple.

Cassi is a mirror, often dark, of who I am. We are intrinsically SO different in the way we perceive the world, yet share focus and passion that delights each of us every waking moment we share. It’s about as human as you can get with another person you trust and cherish. We are critical, curious and celebratory of the world we inhabit. We have skills the other does not and we appreciate our own diversity, promoting each other as the Masters we are and as works in progress. We laugh (a LOT), cry, rant and dream of the same wonderful future we are experiencing every day. She has taught me to look up, ALWAYS, with her love of Astronomy and Photography giving me new eyes to see the landscape that surrounds me. I share my mutant ears with her, introducing new sounds in Music and my fascination with Language that informs my speech and writing. Each has seen or heard things the other has not and we supply new ears and eyes to each moment we share. There are not enough hours in the day for it all.

I often search for new ways to express my ideas. Then, at exactly the appropriate moment Cassi will say something with such economy and insight that I am gobsmacked, breathless with the profound nature of her vision. Let me share two powerful examples that I hope you can relate to as I have. May they inspire you in your own quest for authenticity.

“If it is good and meaningful, why not do it?” When she said this in a particularly potent exchange a few Sunday Mornings ago, I was stunned by its simplicity and relevance to me and everyone I know. This has large implications in my life as it empowers me to follow my passion without doubt clouding my vision. She lives it and it makes me want to be a better person for the knowledge.

I tend to complicate because I exist inside my head far too much (where she exists in the physical world interacting in a way I have never mastered). That can mean wisdom or insanity. Cassi has a way of shaking that out in me and out of me. I willingly follow her vision as we chase sunsets, watch the stars and greet each new sunrise. Thanks to her, I’m seeing a whole new world that was always there, hidden in plain sight just like me for 50 years prior to pulling back the curtain.

“The only way I can express myself, truly and deeply, is with you.” When she made that statement it struck like a thunderbolt to my heart. I wasn’t expecting her to say that and was dumbfounded by how much it affected me emotionally. As TransWomen we know there are losses we must face, but new connections to be made. They will only appear if we are vulnerable, open to our own truth and compassionate about all life that surrounds us. I held Cassi in high regard but never more than after she said those words. No one has ever said those words to me in my adult life and through all the relationships I have had. I don’t think I could have said it before now, either… and now I know how to tell someone “I Love You” and mean it.

 

 

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