(I wrote this a couple of weeks ago after watching the final episode of Breaking Bad)
I just finished watching the final episode of Breaking Bad and I’m going to miss it. For 5 years I have loved watching this show and the people on it. Interestingly, the timing of this show more or less follows my own timeline of when I began exploring in a meaningful way my own inner turmoil – the gender issues that were to rise from deep inside me and consume nearly everything.
It would be a gross oversimplification and also wrong to try and draw real comparisons between gender transition and a television show about a high school science teacher who decides to start cooking meth for a living – but it’s fun to play around with it because there are some parallels.
The most obvious was having a secret. Walt had a boatload of them but they all stemmed from his meth cooking and creating lies and stories to try and hide it. Being transgender means having a giant secret and often having to make up stories when your significant other thinks someone was wearing her clothes – or a parent comes home unexpectedly and you are wearing a bra!
Mike was a former cop – nice respectable line of work but gave it up to work for Gus Fring – lost a piece of himself – yet remains in control and gets stuff done. I was employed as a radio program director and on air personality for 30 years. I was a husband and father. I lost most all of that – yet had to remain in control and get stuff done in the middle of chaos.
The actor who played “Gustavo Fring” talks about how the writers told him Gus needed to “hide in plain sight.” After transition, that is exactly what we in the Transgender population try to do – hide in plain sight. Move along – nothing out of the ordinary.
When Walt & Skyler said goodbye it made me cry. Walt finally admitted he did this for himself. What he did caused the loss of everything. So much emotional wreckage left behind. I can completely relate to this. I still weep for the loss of my marriage. It wasn’t perfect but she knew me better than anyone and until this – she had stood by me no matter what. I did this for me, nobody else. It resulted in the loss of nearly everything. I bear that responsibility. Unlike Walt, I really never had the chance to say goodbye and I didn’t have $9.5 million in a barrel somewhere.
No, the risk for “Breaking Trans” isn’t prison, although I’m sure if Ted Cruz and others like him had their way, it would be. But without getting overly dramatic, there is a very real physical risk, up to and including being killed. ( 1 in 12 Transgender people will be murdered. Those odds dip to 1 in 8 for Transgender women of color) The more common risk is the loss of your marriage and often, family members turn away along with some friends.
So Breaking Bad wrapped up tonight. It was good to see a show end with a finale that was worthy of the high quality of the series. As for me, my show must go on. “Breaking Trans” has been renewed for another season and here’s hoping many many more.
I look forward to seeing how this one comes out.