Caysee needed a sidekick. And I had a deep desire to make this a story about friendship as much as freedom. I wanted the message to get across that friendships are imperative; they deepen our life experience and keep our souls renewed. Mac originated from these premises.
But he had to have his own story, his own motivations. As I let the storyline and Caysee’s character guide me, Mac showed up and his past along with him. I wrestled with the idea. I knew that by keeping true to his original appearance I would perhaps also be creating a provoking manuscript, one that opens up entirely different kinds of conversations, and I wasn’t certain I wanted to pursue them. I thought about some other way for him to have the kind of conflict that would drive him out of the house, or get him on the street. I could not make him fit any other shape than the one that I presented. I felt I had to be true to his essence in the way it teased itself out of the ether.
I purposefully didn’t do any research about transgender issues other than an occasional light peruse of headline stories. I wanted to sniff out a reasonable reaction to the sort of prison in which Mac was living. Most importantly, I wanted the character and struggle to be composed entirely on my imaginings, with as little influence from the real world as possible. This approach felt right and authentic to me.
Upon reflection, I’ve observed that Mac’s story can serve to inspire. How many others, identity aside, find themselves in circumstances less than optimum? How many of us understand the impossibility of thriving when our environment keeps us focused solely upon the task of surviving? It could be a job or a relationship and maybe we inadvertently put ourselves in the situation, but I’m willing to bet that there are others out there who will be able to draw strength from Mac’s need to be staunch about where he could give up his sense of self and where he couldn’t, as well as his need to find an atmosphere that provided him opportunities to be free to express himself. At least that is my desire.
When I made the decision to become a writer several years ago, I did so with the goal of always challenging people to think, myself included. It doesn’t matter that a reader necessarily agrees with my point of view, I am content if I have caused another to at least consider an optional idea. Even if there is disparity in the final analysis, we are all better for at least having weighed the other side of a thought. My hope is that Mac’s character, and the book as a whole, have achieved this endeavor.
Thank you for reading…