As the world continues to face one of its biggest challenges, I felt compelled to write something encouraging. So many things weigh heavily on us all-not just the COVID virus itself. The medical and health risks-especially among the older members of society (and the CDH community) skews a bit towards the older cohort. Throw in the financial worries as the whole world is shutting down for a time, and there is a real concern as to the lasting effects on the economy.
There are the feelings of isolation that occur because of the social distancing and lock-downs being implemented throughout so much of the world. This is even truer for the CD/TG community, which by its nature is already isolated by much of society. Thankfully though, that is changing for the better, albeit far too slowly. Those of us in the US and Canada were SO looking forward to the Keystone Conference in PA (that would have been next week) or the others such as Diva Las Vegas and Esprit that have either been postponed or cancelled. The timing of this pandemic is particularly hard hitting.
But while we cannot ignore the difficulties we are facing, we CAN choose how we respond to it. The fact that this is happening NOW in today’s perpetually-connected times is a blessing. While we may not be able to get together in person, as we had planned, we still have the virtual connections through this site to allow us to maintain a human touch. In previous decades, the isolation would have been much more painful. I know that for me, the friends I have made over the last four years here are reaching out with love and encouraging words. We can support each other in these challenging times. I encourage each of you to reach out through chat and PMs to those you’ve grown close to, and also reach out to the newer folks, let them know you are thinking about them as well. This is how a community thrives in troubled times.
In the same breath, family has never been more important. We owe so much to our parents and grandparents, and due to the much higher risks they face from the virus, along with the necessary isolation to safeguard their health, many of them are probably feeling forgotten. If you are fortunate enough to still have them around, call, email, or write to them. It’s so important to let them know how much they are loved. Do the same for folks you know in the healthcare and emergency services who must continue their jobs in spite of the increased risks they face. If you are blessed financially, consider reaching out and offering assistance to those less fortunate. It is at times like these, when basic human decency and kindness are needed most, where our actions have the greatest impact on peoples’ lives.
On a more personal level, realizing that none of us are promised a tomorrow, commit yourself to living and being as true to yourself as possible. For those who are wanting and able (given their situation), take the opportunity to let your hidden self show. Though I am always at least in stealth Cyn mode in normal times, I am taking advantage of this time (I’m required to work from home) to be in full Cyn mode 24/7. I’m aware that not everyone CAN or even necessarily wants to go that far, but whatever your goals are, take this chance to seize the day. Over the last several years, I have begun to worry less about what others think of me, and instead concentrate more on what I see in myself.
Not everything will always turn out perfectly, I HAVE to face the world as an optimist and be hopeful. Doing otherwise would mean resigning myself to the view that things can’t get better, and I refuse to live that way. Positive change in the world doesn’t come from the top down; it starts within each of us, spreading outward to others as we share it. I’m committing myself to making a positive difference. Will you join me? Together we CAN change the world!