“I’m not a talker, I’m a Dewar,” is the slogan in a certain brand of whisky’s advertisements. This fits me like cling wrap. Words don’t come easy to me – I’d rather do than talk.
I am horrendously shy, even after more than half a century among human beings (maybe because of that). When I have to talk, I stumble over words, trip over punctuation and just fumble my way through (very short) conversations. Small talk is a way of conversing I have not mastered and will never master. But even with my inability to use the spoken word with any degree of fluency, I acknowledge the power of words and with that, their antithesis, silence.
Between B and I, our (known) family can be counted on two hands, with some fingers folded in. Only two of them know we are married. The others have come through our quarter of a century together with blinkers that let them see us as “just friends”. Ha. “There are none as blind as those who will not see.”
When a friend of my cousin asked me a few months ago to research an artifact he had acquired, thinking it rare and valuable, I was happy to assist. I however mentioned B in an email to him and called her my “life partner.” Since then we have heard hide nor hair of my cousin and his wife. If this is their reaction after “acknowledging” that we are not a traditional couple, imagine me now spilling the whole transgender can of beans…
Of course their silence hurts – just as much as the stinging and often devastating words we as trans people have flung at us by family and friends – the people we should be able to rely on for love and cherishing.
It leaves me wondering what I find preferable: the verbal and direct condemnation and disowning, or the absolute, damning silence.
* This video captures the essence of the Power of words brilliantly.
** I do presentations, but then my words and thoughts are structured, my ideas are kerneled in graphics.
*** Writing though, that I can do. Without inhibitions. I have ink in my veins.