it’s a beautiful thing
to my people who keep an impressive wingspan
even when the cubicle shrink
Hey there friends… new post, new thoughts and feelings, new reasons to smile.
I’m back in New York… done with my business in California.
I’ve got 6 months more of hormones, had a great experience at planet parenthood, and have plenty of time to get established with a doctor who can see me through the rest of my transition… awesome. I have much to say about the whole trip, but for now I’d like to talk about a film that’s had a profound effect on my life, it’s a perfect allegory for many of my experiences in life and has led to much self-realization. I once thought the film was about following your dreams… but really, it’s about more than that.
I’ve never had a dream in my life
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued
“Little Dieter Needs To Fly
” is a documentary by Werner Herzog examining the life of Dieter Dengler, a german-born Navy pilot who was shot down over Laos during Vietnam. He spent about 5 months detained as a POW, during his time he was subjected to torture and inhumane living conditions, he escaped and was rescued by a stroke of luck, he was around 90 pounds, broken and malnourished. His time as a POW is a sad, scary story of ruthless people acting as they do during times of war, it’s an amazingly true tale of survival and overcoming the evils we face. Herzog made a more recent film dramatizing this experience, “Rescue Dawn
“, with Christian Bale playing Dieter, it’s an decent companion piece but doesn’t really stand on its own. What makes this story notable isn’t just the heroism or the endurance of the human spirit, it’s Dieter himself, the passion he’s embraced and the manner in which he conducts his life.
Let me elaborate.
Dieter was a young boy in Germany, his family was strong but poor, he recalls his grandfather as the only one in town who voted against the Nazi’s. One night, his village was being attacked and he witnessed a plane fly right by his window, guns blazing, and that was to be his greatest inspiration. He says in the film that seeing that plane was the moment he knew that he was going to be a pilot, he needed to fly, little Dieter needed to fly. He finished his schooling, packed up his things and left to pursue his goal, Germany had no airforce at the time and so he went to where he could become a pilot, America. He put in his time as a grunt and eventually started flying, was later assigned to do missions over Laos, where he was shot down. After his crash, detainment, rescue, and lengthy recovery he became a jet pilot and later a test pilot, surviving 4 more crashes. He flew until he retired at 59, lived in San Fransisco until he ended his own life shortly after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs Disease.
I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done
So i’ve been the dream that I wanted to be since day one
When asked about being a hero, Dieter says “I don’t think of myself as a hero. No, only dead people are heroes”. I’m writing about Dieter Dengler because he’s my hero. He taught me just how amazing life is, and how we can overcome our own individual struggles, no matter how intense. When I was midway through 3rd grade, my parents got divorced and transferred from Christian school to Rosemont public school district, which was about as scary as post-war Germany. Martin Luther Kings dream of the white children and black children playing together was hardly a reality, the crooked were still crooked, and hate still thrived. Through being a tiny kid with glasses, running from bullies and not feeling safe, I found my hope. One day after school, I saw one of my classmates waiting to be picked up, she was wearing a big poofy pink dress, likely on her way to confirmation. Seeing that dress, I knew that I wanted to wear it, be around it, I wanted to feel pretty, I wanted it to be ok that I was the one in that dress. That dress to me is Dieters plane, a vision of what the rest of my life would be, a goal, a passion, a reason to be.
I didn’t get to wear that dress, well, at least not then. I grew up, adventured out into the world, into a world I had only seen in movies and read in books, away from the things I was comfortable with. The suburbs were devoid of culture, so I put on a Velvet Underground record and went downtown. I put in my time as a hipster boy, graduated highschool and started being who I wanted to be. In the process of exploring myself and what the world had to offer, many sad, unfair, life changing things have happened. There are things that I have talked about on here, and things that I may never talk about, people have hurt me and I’ve hurt myself, events I can’t even bring myself to recollect. I’ve missed opportunities, left people behind, broken solidarity with much of society, all in the name of being an individual and exploring all that our culture has to offer. I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing, I just knew I was going to do it or live a life wishing I would have. The times i’ve feared for my life, the times i’ve been broken and bruised, the darkest times, the times that I would never wish on anyone, they have not stopped my pursuit of happiness.
I’d rather live it
cause dreamers always chase but never get it
I’m older now, and the things that have passed have done just that, passed. My dream is that the difficulties I’ve had may never happen to other folks, with allies and other people who understand the importance of self-worth and self-expression can make it a goal, make it a reality. I have the utmost respect for those who have seen harder times than myself, and nothing makes me happier than seeing someone express themselves in the way they see fit. Dieter and I both know that the world has a way of kicking you when you’re down and also that life can be as amazing as you make it. My goal is to live as a girl and to be able to be myself, i’ve gone through hell to make it this way and will continue to climb into the cockpit. I will keep vigilante because that’s who I am, Dieter is a pilot and I’m a girl, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I have a future ahead of me that is unsure and writhe with possibility, I do not fear the unknown. For the rest of my life I’m going to be following my passions, writing, filming, exploring and sharing all I learn. Know that everyday has endless potential, and you really can do anything you desire, this world is a big sandbox. We convince ourselves that money and comfort is the goal when true happiness comes from setting your own. Little Dieter Needs To Fly taught me how amazing the world is, the beauty of it all, even through all the grime. I’m going to end this post with another Aesop
quote. Thanks for reading.
Life’s not a bitch
Life is a beautiful woman.
You only call her a bitch ’cause she wont let you get that pussy.
Maybe she didn’t feel y’all shared any similar interests.
Or maybe you’re just an asshole who couldn’t sweet talk the princess.