There are so many things I wish I’d encountered when I could still revise Red Nails, Black Skates. Primary among them is an entry from Lisa Bunker’s blog called GenderBendy: An Online Journal of Transgender Life. Lisa had stopped me on my way out of WMPG in December, where she works, after I’d done an interview with Dal Maxwell about the new Bates Athletics Transgender Inclusion Policies. She showed me the blog entry called “An Amazing Gift,” where Lisa displays a picture of herself that her sister had sent her: of Lisa, at seventeen, at a local outdoor ice rink, wearing tan skates, happy and relaxed, leaning against the rink barrier, with the sweetest smile, flowy hair, tilted head resting just so on her hand. In the blog entry she writes, “Not once in my first 46 years did I ever look in a mirror or at a photograph and see what seems so obvious here–a truth so plain and yet so strange it remained invisible to me, and to those who loved me. . . . But look…look at the natural girl I was, without even trying. There I am, shining out, as my sister put it, through the boy-flesh.”
I wish I’d seen this blog post earlier. I write a lot in the book about skate color, gender expression, looks of culture, feels of nature. I know where I’d want to bring this in, what I might want to say. But the chance simply to post a link and invite you to look and read what she posted seems so much better.