Jonathan had been out a couple of years. I was in my mid-teens when an acquaintance suggested the book. During the two week library loan, I literally memorized the book. There was a philosophy in Jonathan that rings true to this day.
Sadly, for many years, I tried to be one of the Flock. I really tried. The only time my life made sense was when I had about 3,000 feet between me and the ground. But when finances dried up, I was forced to leave flying.
I left being a photo engineer and went into teaching. Like Jonathan, I wanted to give something of the truth I had seen to someone who asked only for a chance to see truth for himself. Instead of flying, it was in science where I saw the magnificent beauty of the universe. And it was while teaching that I had my own breakthrough moment and accepted myself as being transgender.
It wasn't long before I found myself banished to The Far Cliffs. Outed on the local news. Lost my teaching position. Couch-surfing homeless. While outcast, I learned a lot about myself. Who I am. What is truly important. Who my true Flock is.
Friends further along a magnificent journey guided me. I had my Sullivan and Chiang. They helped me to become authentic and true to myself, and to see the true power of love.
I am returning to the Council Beach to share what I have learned and help others to be authentic. It is in being authentic that we unchain ourselves and find perfection. Someday, when I leave this Flock for one who is in need of an Instructor, I hope my Fletcher carries on. Jonathan has been, and continues to be, a guiding force. To those who may read this, Happy Landings!