I want to share my comments about this amazing book, "The Color of Sunlight". I finished it a few days ago. I stopped a few pages before the inevitable, because I could not face it again right away. I had earlier read ahead to see how Michelle Alexander and Michelle Rose had described the pivotal event. I could not return to that point until I and my surroundings were ready. I read it again; wept again. The Michelles have captured Michelle Alexander's personal growth and the growth of her family. This story is not only about Mishelle, a blind transwoman from a small city in Montana (Kalispell). This is a journey that Michelle Alexander took over the course of six months, when her life journey intersected and she bonded with Mishelle Woodring. Their jouney together opened Michelle Alexander's eyes to a unique individual, a member of an overlooked and often harrassed minority. Transgenders are people. They are human beings. We are all human beings. Please fill in the blanks where Jew appears in the following Shakespeare soliliqy from The Merchant of Venice":
"I am a < >. Hath not a < > eyes? Hath not a < > hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
rest, we will resemble you in that."
We are all human. Shakespeare's message is universal. Each of us deserves unconditional acceptance and love. Michelle Alexander found that universal truth during this journey, and shares it with all of us. Michelle's universal message clearly applies to all of humanity. Treat each other with respect, accept one another, love one another, be good to one another. Religious leaders for millenia have expressed these lessons. It is time for the world to embrace its true humanity. This book captures our humanity; and through this story, Michelle Alexander has transitioned to a level of enlightenment of what it means to be a human beng. She continues to spread this message through her love, her work, and her children. I, for one, am so grateful that Michelle Alexander was moved to befriend Mishelle Woodring, to accept and love Mishelle and help her at a time when most people run away (I helped a family member and a friend in similar situations - I know). I am so grateful that Michelle Alexander was moved to tell her story and share it with the world, that Michelle Rose was able to coax the story and message from Michelle Alexander, and that a group of individuals, notably Cici Eberle, was moved to read and comment on the manuscript. Moreso, I am truly blessed to call both Michelles aned Cici friend.
Janine Elyse Aronson
March 18, 2011