We have heard the phrase ”love sees no gender.” No gender, race, sexuality, and it goes on and on. That is one kind of love. Certainly a great love. But that’s not the only love. There is another love. One that sees gender. It can’t help it. But this love manages somehow to see past it, or make its way around it, to the person who is loved. This is the love I receive from my family.
40 years as a brother and son doesn’t just automatically adjust to a new gender (or the original gender that went unrecognized). For most of them I will always be male. Always Ryan. But that’s okay because they are willing to step around gender. They see it, and it hurts. But they won’t look away. I’m not sure how, but they sort of lean into the wind-wall of my transition and pass through it to me. It’s no gentle wind either. It jerks them around, throws sand in their faces. But they take it. Willingly. Without hesitation.
Who could not be in awe of such love? What child could refuse, what sibling would feel anything but humility and gratitude and burning empathy for such love?
Of course there are other kinds. Other needed loves. But this one, this love that sees, that doesn’t look away, but sees straight into the howling whirlwind and presses through into its calm eye where they trust I am…
I need this. I need and accept this love.