Media Review: Don't...
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Media Review: Don't Be an Island

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Trusted Member     United States of America, Virginia, Richmond
Joined: 6 years ago

"I Am A Rock"

by Paul Simon, released 1965

A winter's day

In a deep and dark December

I am alone

Gazing from my window

To the streets below

On a freshly fallen, silent shroud of snow

I am a rock

I am an island


I've built walls

A fortress, steep and mighty

That none may penetrate

I have no need of friendship

Friendship causes pain.

It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.

I am a rock

I am an island


Don't talk of love

Well, I've heard the words before

It's sleeping in my memory

And I won't disturb the slumber

Of feelings that have died

If I never loved, I never would have cried

I am a rock

I am an island


I have my books

And my poetry to protect me

I am shielded in my armor

Hiding in my room

Safe within my womb

I touch no one and no one touches me

I am a rock

I am an island


And a rock feels no pain

And an island never cries

For many within the CD/TG community, these words are an all too familiar expression of our lives.  Like many other marginalized members of society, we find it easier to isolate ourselves rather than face the harsh judgment of others who often don’t understand us or our need to express ourselves as we do.  I know in my own life, I was prone to believe that no one wanted to be around “someone like me”, so I chose to lose myself in books and not allow many (if ANY) people to know the person I hid from the world. It took me many years to realize that I was only hurting myself by doing this.  I didn’t give my friends credit for being able to see that while this is an important aspect of who I am, it is most certainly not the ONLY aspect of who I am. Like anyone, I am the SUM of many different parts and this side of me is neither more NOR less important than anything else in determining what kind of person I am.  In recent years, I have allowed my true FRIENDS to know about Cyn, and have been fortunate to not lose anyone yet. If they ARE true friends, they will accept that this is part of what makes me who I am, and won’t allow it to change their perception of me.

 As far as love, I have truly loved a few times in life, and thus far it hasn’t lasted forever for various reasons.  And yes-I shed tears as the relationships ended or as we came to the realization that we were in different places. But even during those painful moments, I KNEW that I was better for having the experience, for it is true what the poet John Donne wrote: “No man is an island’ (and no woman either).   Each of us is connected to the rest of humanity both as part of a group and in an individual sense as well. No matter how lonely I might feel at any given point in life, I must not give up hope and withdraw into my own cocoon -or as it said above “hiding in my room, safe within my womb”. For it is NOT true that a rock feels no pain or that an island never cries.  Instead those who choose to be “rocks” and “islands” are left to suffer the pain and tears in solitude, unable to allow another to help bear their burden. If we isolate ourselves and (to paraphrase) “touch no one and no one touches us”, then we not only hurt ourselves, we rob others of the positive impact we could have had in their lives. In the four years I have been a member here at Crossdresser Heaven I have seen SO many folks who had felt isolated and alone slowly make their way out of the shadows and spread their wings like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon. And seeing them do so helped me overcome my own fears.

 Some might think it is always “someone else” who inspires and helps the fledglings leave the nest and take to the air-but EACH and every one of YOU can have that impact TOO! -But only if you choose to NOT keep yourself hidden away in the dark.  You don’t have to “go public” (unless you want to of course) but here on the site, allow yourself to be open and honest. I made the choice back in 2015 that I would be open and honest on here about my hopes and my fears; my triumphs and my defeats; my questions and my answers.  Each of us has to chart our own path in life, but we don’t have to navigate that path alone. Share your story here as it unfolds. Let others learn from your failures and successes.

 In San Francisco, CA there was a prison called Alcatraz-and it was both an island AND a rock.  It’s through the friends and connections I have made with so many friends here that I have gathered the courage to let Cyn out of the prison I had kept her in for so many years.  And if I stumble in the future or if tears should fall, I know that I have friends here who will help me rise and resume my journey. Don’t be an island!


6 Replies
Posts: 76
Trusted Member     United States of America, Massachusetts
Joined: 6 years ago

Cyn, thank you again for your insightful look at songs that so many of us know and being able to find meaning where we may not think to look.


Posts: 219
Reputable Member     Canada, Hawarden, SK, Canada
Joined: 5 years ago

I bow before thee...Such a beautiful article Cyn, Thank you!!
One of my little tricks is dropping anchors haha,

I imagine with lots of emotions doing it until I actually Do, do it..I brave going into places and shops where I am familiar with at least one staff member.

You know my story; one step was just opening a single curtain, now its walkin the malls in the big city hahaha

I always says "thank you for your kindness, create an amazing day", to the clerk as I exit and have built a little rapport with and I have planted a solid support anchor there.

Other. less friendlies, witness "how to behave" because most I have found, are just so afraid of the unknown, and don't know what to say or do, so they react in the primary responses, fight, flight or freeze.

One poor guy literally put his head down looking at the floor when I said, Hey (name), which I read on his name tag, how ya doing? and he scurried away as quickly as he could; I felt so sad for him living that way, so afraid to even look up.

I just give my attention to that one friendly clerk, and maybe glance at the other just to make eye contact, and draw their attention so they can learn...The more we are seen and heard, and display ourselves to be competent, respectful people, as apposed to past constructs we used to watch on COPS, the sooner we will become normal.
Every time I am in a mall or store now days, a Mom will stop n chat with kids in tow; I always share smiles and think to myself, three new supporters to our global effort coming right up.

There's a short poem by Edward Hale.
I am
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And although I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse, to do the something, that I can do.

Thanks for all you do to help create a better world Cyn, I Am Grateful 🙂

n huggles always Dear

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Joined: 6 years ago

Trusted Member     United States of America, Virginia, Richmond
Posts: 48

I touche on what you say here numerous times here in my writing. IN this one, , It was about standing up for your friends. In this one, , it is about being part of changing the future. And in this one, , why we should be as open about ourselves as possible in our own situations(even if it's only on sites like these) as we have the power to change attitudes one person at a time. Thanks for your kind words Char!

Posts: 1
New Member     United States of America, Massachusetts
Joined: 5 years ago

Beautiful! Great reminder of that we are not alone and should let others in more. Thanks I needed that.


Posts: 46
Ambassador - Editor
Trusted Member     United States of America, Washington, Camano Island
Joined: 6 years ago

Nicely written Cyn. I think this is one of your best and expresses the feelings of many of us here.


Posts: 2
New Member     United States of America, Tennessee, Memphis
Joined: 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this Cyn. Of all of the personal obstacles that we encounter as transgender people I believe one of the most dangerous is isolation. I'm an introvert by nature and also something of a lone wolf. I carried the secret of my gender identity for years and denied it until about ten years ago. Once I accepted it and shared my feelings with my closet friends and ultimately the world a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders. While I'm still a very solitary person the network of friends that I've developed on line and in real time that have accepted me as Melissa have enabled me bring my true persona out of out the shadows and face the world with a smile.


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