17 February 2010

Being us

Every now and then I'll say:

"I love Prince!" or some other equally grand declaration.

My sweetheart will challenge me: "I think you just like the idea of Prince."

But here's the thing about the Princes and the Lady Gagas and the Johnny Weirs of the world: They are doing their best by being most true to themselves. I felt that way the other day watching the Oprah episode about the woman who went from being Tim to Kimberly. She documented it in a fascinating documentary film Kimberly made about her experience switching genders that I attended at BIFF last winter. Oh, and by the way, Kimberly is a lesbian now, and has a partner. Oprah, bless her pointy little soul, really tried to wrap her arms around the transgender thing but couldn't quite let herself go there, so offered Kim's story in her "be your best self" format. Oprah celebrated that Kim was able to go back and become friends with her buddies from the football team for which she'd been the star quarterback, back in the day when she was a boy and feeling like she was in the wrong body. Oprah brought Kimberly's mom on the show and told her face to face she wished she'd told her about her feelings earlier. Not much outlet for thoughts like that in Helena, Montana, up to the point where he made the leap to being she.

But today, Kimberly is living proof that being yourself can change things for the better, and offer others a broader view, which is why yes, I really do like Lady Gaga. And I flat-out love Prince.

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