Sunday, March 16, 2008

Southern Comfort

What most struck a chord in my heart is the idea of a person building up a family from scratch. Robert Eads speaks of his brothers that he has met, made family by common experience. While I have no experience myself with being a transsexual, I have engaged in a sort of "family-building." Being an only child in a single-parent household, I grew to think of my closest friends as siblings and, over time, began to think of a very concerned and helpful teacher in the light of a father figure. For someone, man or woman, who feels very much different and alone in the world, this is a very therapeutic process to go through. Also, it is a very effective means to actually constructing an emotional support structure that otherwise would not exist in one's life. Upon coming to college, I learned that a similar process occurs in assimilating oneself into a fraternity, as I experienced old family-building feelings all over again. However, to return to the documentary itself, these families are built upon the knowledge of ostracism. Robert and his friends were outcasts for being what they felt they needed to become, and I was an outcast for very different reasons. Either way, this connection made the film that much more poignant for me. Oddly enough, I also lost my constructed "father figure" to cancer quite recently. In a way, this is almost exactly like those who looked up to Robert Eads losing him to cancer. Both families lost their leaders.

No comments: