In Walt Whitman's immortal poem "Song of Myself," the poet drops an often-repeated line: "I am large, I contain multitudes." Few would disagree with Whitman. At some point, everyone has felt his or her personality built from differing--frequently contradictory--facets, sometimes so much so that it can feel like there's another person in there with you (whoever "you" are).
But what if among your multitudes was one insistent, powerful voice that warned something wasn't right: "You're not who you're pretending to be, and if you don't give up the charade it isn't going to go well for you."
Not everyone has that experience, but three people profiled in this week's feature (see Page 11) had something like it--born as males, physically, at some point in their lives, they realized they were not who they were supposed to be, and faced the harrowing decision whether to suppress that fact or muster the strength to transition, for all the world to see, into the women (more important: the people) they knew they actually were.
Identity is a touchy subject to say the least--cutting across, as it does, every aspect of the human experience. In the feature article "This is Me," by frequent Boise Weekly contributor Jessica Murri, we explore the transition from living as a male to living as a female through individual stories, shared by three women who generously afforded BW access to their lives and candidly discussed the challenges and fears they've faced along the way.
This is a sensitive kind of journalism that tells the intimate stories of people's lives--not because of any particular news hook (though efforts to add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the Idaho Human Rights Act remain very much in the political forefront), but because people's stories are important in and of themselves. I hope you find Jessica Murri's piece as engaging and powerful as I did.
And speaking of engaging, we'd like to engage with you at the launch party for our 2014 Bar and Restaurant Guide. Join us at 9 p.m., Friday, April 4, at The Balcony in downtown Boise for drinks, games, prizes and all that good stuff. Sponsored by 44 North, the event is free to anyone 21-and-older until 10 p.m.