Lizi Sat across from Lee, a pleasant smile on her face, as all Co counseling sessions start. This was the first time the pair would counsel together outside of class. Lee noticed that Lizi had a face that always looked like it was about to yawn, in a way that was disarming, inviting, and curious all at once. For "new and goods" Lee could hardly think of anything to share. Nothing seemed quite new or quite good enough. It's going to be one of those sessions, Lee thought, opting instead to talk about the first thing that came to mind, the small plant in front of her that she hoped would bloom into a grand bird of paradise some day (if lucky). Lizi had just gotten out of a workshop, so ended up sessioning second. Immediately, her tears fell from her face as she talked about her mentor, Jeanette, who had recently died of cancer. Lee, listening, was all too familiar with Jeanette, who was a leader in the community. Many others had sessions about the late leaders passing, and each time, Lee couldn't help but recall the first time they had met years ago when she had first moved back home to Portland. Having just come to terms with her Transness, Lee was of course discussing the dirty details of a later in life transition. After the vulnerable session, however, it was jeanettes turn to speak. She took the time to share about a student she had known who had transitioned and then de-transitioned. That was the last time lee would ever see her alive. The back to back session comparison left Lee feeling excluded. If that was my first entry into the community, I surely would have left, she thought. Years later, with jeanettes death, Lee was suddenly barraged with sessions from others about the importance and greatness of this person. She looked out for me. She had her flaws, but she was a great teacher. She triggered me, but I stood up to her. She called people out for being late, but she did it in a gentle way. She dedicated her life to fighting for feminism, even if she did it in a white way. Everything Lee knew and heard about her was always qualified, and as a white woman, she got away with it. Lees own interaction was not only violent, but so unnecessary. How could this woman who counseled so much still come up short so often. How could this woman be allowed to be so mediocre so consistently. How could this woman have such an impact on so many impact people in lees own life that seem so much better than the great leader herself? She was a local hero, and all Lee saw was a white woman who was taking up too much space.

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