Just before arriving in the church where I now sat, we'd tromped across that very same park. We'd been a few minutes later than had been intended, but our seats together midway back in the center were certainly fine, and the acoustics and layout had worked very well for the first half of the concert.
As the lights were about to drop, I opened the program and looked over the numbers we'd hear for the final half. The show was the inaugural public performance of only the second transgender choir in the country, one featuring voices more often scorned than celebrated.
One of the performers stepped up, having felt they were off a bit at an earlier solo, and nailed it on the second go. The explanation from the director was one noting that how you hear yourself can be skewed over a testosterone-fed voice change. The problem was all too familiar: the gender biography I shared with my therapist had indeed called out that very point in my own history as a rough one.
No emotional respite followed as we rejoined the program for the next number. My feelings flowed just as the words did, like endless rain into a paper cup, as the chorus put their all into their rendition of the song. When they hit the refrain, I softly whispered along. The irony of the line I'd sung so often while trying to redevelop the voice I missed was that in spite of what protestation I found myself vocalizing, my world had, and seemed bound to continue, changing. Perhaps nothing else was doing it. Maybe it was me, right along.