Super 8

2014 oma on super 8

I spent the last few days visiting family. it’s funny how we react to extremes. My dad grew up surrounded by family as far as the eye could see – parents, uncles, aunts, cousins… Since then, what he craves most is simply to be alone.
I grew up having hardly any family at all. I have come to love my independence but, unlike my dad, I am aiming for a healthy balance. I feel happy connecting with relatives I have always liked but never had much opportunity to spend time with. Listening to their stories inspires me and makes my heart soar.
This last weekend, three generations sat together and watched Super 8 movies of family events reaching as far back as thirty years ago. Photographs can never live up to moving pictures. Seeing my grandma talk animatedly and smile was amazing. I wanted to reach into that silver screen and pull her out for just an instant to smack one last kiss onto her warm, wrinkly, old cheeks.
Seeing myself was interesting as well. I wore clothes way too big, in an attempt to hide my burgeoning bosom. Quite frankly, I looked a bit like a balloon.
Far more interesting however, was to see my posture, my smile and mannerisms. It confirmed what I already knew: I haven’t changed much at all. I was homeless in the wrong body, but I was always Liam. I still laugh the same, love the same, move the same… but since those childhood and teenage years, I have come home in every sense of the word.
Lounging on the couch with my partner and my relatives, hearing everyone laughing and seeing them point each other out in the movies was a grand experience.
I was humbled by the open-mindedness of everyone as well. Here they were, right next to me in my adult, male shape and form, and every so often my wonderful aunt or someone else would exclaim happily, “Ah look, there you are Liam.” all the while pointing at the big-boobed teenaged girl on screen.
Is there anything more beautiful than to be accepted exactly as who you are?

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