Letter 2 – 10/05/1977
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Dear John,

You know that you never need to apologize for asking me questions. Ohio is all that I hoped for and more. I know that the town seems daunting, and it definitely was at first, but you’d be amazed how quickly you adapt. After two months here, home seems impossibly small. Something new seems to be around every corner, just waiting for me to find it. The air is fine, no matter what those at home may tell you. The Ohio hack is nothing but a myth to keep you in the commonwealth. The grass is different here. It’s strange looking out on fields and not seeing that comforting blue hue I’ve come to expect. It’s the same to the touch, but not to the eye.

Although I do miss you, I cannot say that I miss home. Being away from my family is so freeing, in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I can go anywhere, I can do anything. I can be myself. There’s even a group for people like me here. They see me as Sam and Sam alone. I never realized just how painful it was hearing that other name while I was at home. I’m still in shock, honestly. I can’t believe there’s another person like me, let alone enough to fill a room.

I could talk for page after page about the group, but I fear my descriptions would just confuse you. I’ve also finally seen news outside of what the TV wants us to see. Two months ago in New York, a court ruled that the US Open, one of the biggest tennis games in the world, had to let a transsexual woman play in the women’s league. The times are changing and it finally seems to be for the better.

School is going fine. My classes are fairly easy and the workload so far is light. Nothing that can’t be handled quickly that same night. I’ve yet to not have a free weekend. Remember those ten page papers the Wooze would assign to “get our sorry asses ready for college?” I’ve yet to have to write anything longer than half a page. Compared to any of his classes, I’ve had nothing but cakewalks. 

I’m glad to hear that the union vote turned out well. I guarantee that by the time I finish my degree, you’ll already be an organizer known around the whole country. I know how much you hate being called a red and I’m sorry you had to go through that. People only want what they’ve been trained to want, not what’s in their best interest. Still though, I know they’ll come around to the idea. Not everyone has family from Harlan like you, or Birmingham like me. They have to learn it for the first time themselves.

I know that you want me to tell my parents so that you can stop lying to them, but I just don’t feel comfortable doing that yet. I’m working on a plan for them and I swear it’ll be ready before the end of the year. Tell Mary and your Ma I said hello. Also make sure to tell your Ma that I miss her banana bread. No shop around here sells any and I’ve had a craving for almost three days now.

With love,