Monday, 13 March 2017

Chance Encounter (March 13, 2017)


July 21, 2006.

A date
Forever etched
Into my memory.

As if
Done by
A laser.

By mistake
And pure chance.

I enter
The support group meeting 
For trans-men
At the 519*.

A decision
That forever
Changed my life.

As George Harold
And Alex** 
Accepted me
Into their meeting.

Won't bore you
With details
Of what 
Was spoken.

Except
My soul was
Laid bare
Before them.

As tears
Of anger
And shame 
Flowed down my face
Like the Mississippi River
During flood season.

Releasing
The septic toxins
From my mom's
Caustic rejection of me.

For the first time
I shared this
To total strangers
With frank openness.

As I found myself
Neither judged
Nor pitied.

But
Accepted
As a person
Of value. 

Therisa © 2017

Author's note: Without the help of these three men, I wouldn't be here, today, to share my experiences of that fateful night. I entered their meeting, as a stranger and left, as friends, whose kindness was the first step, I took, in the healing of myself and uniting it, with my body, which had been detached, from birth.

For I stood, on the brink, of another suicide attempt, for that month, making it, my 3rd and possibly, the final attempt, to take my life. And yes, I do have, a very long history, for this.

*The 519, is the name of the community centre, in the local area, and for the LGBT+ community, in Toronto, which offers programs that serve Toronto and surrounding communities, in the Greater Toronto Area. It's located at 519 Church Street, in the heart of Toronto's Gay Village. Hence, the name.

The trans-men meet every 1st and 3rd Friday of every month, and trans-women meet every 2nd and 4th Friday, except for December, when the meetings are suspended for the holidays. A Christmas dinner is held, that invites all members of the trans community and their allies, to attend.

**Not their real names, as I value their rights to privacy, so am using an alias, for them.

21 comments:

  1. What a marvelous example of the kindness of strangers--life giving, life saving--and an encounter that led to cherished friendships. This is a powerful poem and theme and a very intimate share. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan, and your welcome. Am hoping, by providing the information, about the 519, will help anyone, in the GTA, who's coming out and needs support.

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  2. It's fantastic that the group was able to support you at a time of need. So glad for you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Thotpurge. I got lucky, too many within the trans-community aren't so lucky, as the high suicide rate, among us, will attest to this.

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  3. Yes, we should leave judgement to a higher force and accept each others traits and differences as we hope they will accept ours. Excellent writing Therisa.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Robin, wish more people would do this, but this asking them, to move outside of their comfort zone, which many refuse to do so.

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  4. Good to know that you had people to support you in times of need.. Beautifully written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sanaa, will admit, I got very lucky, when this happened to me.

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  5. I feel 'acceptance' is a holy word not realized by many. A wonderful poem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sumana, you're helping making "acceptance" being realize, as a holy word.

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  6. Beautifully penned. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Sometimes all u want is someone to not judge or pity you , just see you for what you really are and I think opening up to a stranger can really help you. Maybe that's why counselling works!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Samyuktha, but counselling is, a very personal relationship, you and the therapist.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this very personal story, Therisa. So glad you've moved on from that dark place, and now it's YOUR time to pay it forward!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bev, and your welcome. By being public, like this blog, am trying to pay it forward, to my community, helping the cis-word, to learn of our struggles for survival.

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  8. This is a beautifully affirming story, a time when kindness and acceptance of one's worth as a human being made all the difference. Thank you for sharing it. We never know when a smile, a word, an outstretched hand makes all the difference to a person. We dont know who might read your poem today, and gain hope. Thanks, Therisa.

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  9. Groups are a good example of kindness. At a time when one needs support the most, hopefully the group will be a good one that gives it. Glad you found it.

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  10. support is always the best. thanks for sharing.

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  11. These guys were there to help you in your time of need--angels in disguise, I think!

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  12. A little kindness can open wide the loudest slammed door.

    Thank you Therisa for dropping by my blog Lunch Break to read mine

    Much love...

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  13. I am glad you found such a kind environment, Therisa, at a time when you really needed it. We all need such environments in which to grow. To be accepted as a person of value is no small thing. To share openly, as you do, is also a kind act. As Sherry says, one doesn't know who might be reading and be inspired by your poem.

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  14. An encounter well worth honouring in verse!

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Chance Encounter (March 13, 2017)

July 21, 2006. A date Forever etched Into my memory. As if Done by A laser. By mistake And pure chance. I enter...