Jonathon Thunderword describes his journey to mental, spiritual and religious freedom in his beautiful and revealing book. Jonathon’s book is short and to the point and reflects the man himself.
I first saw Jonathon on a Friday night at a synagogue. Unknown to both of us, this was to be a night unlike any other. It was the first time I attended a Jewish service. I had no interest in religion but I couldn’t deny the grounded sensation I felt during the service. I returned to the synagogue the next day and Jonathon was there, too.
In hindsight, I can see that on that night I experienced a freedom that I, as a black trans person, had never felt anywhere in a shared public space: Community. Although I had no interest or trust in organized religions, I had to find out more about Judaism. Judaism taught me how to question everything. Our questions are more precious than the answers. In my opinion, questions propel humanity to expand our experience in unexpected and positive ways.
I didn’t expect to find myself on a journey towards freedom. Hadn’t my American slave ancestors done that for me? No. Freedom of body, mind and spirit is a pursuit for each individual. In my experience, the pursuit of freedom is the greatest pursuit and love of all.
With Jonathon’s book you will start asking yourself questions that can lead you to your freedom from the expectations of others, and into the expectation of yourself in harmony and love with all life.
I first heard of Brace from my roommate, Ahav. “It’s great”, he said, “y’gotta see it!” Sometimes our film tastes overlap and I tried to remember the title so I could check it out.
Time passed and I forgot the title and I asked Ahav again. “Okay, Brace, got it.” Again the title did not stick in my mind. Fortunately, the creator of Brace, Jake Graf, tweeted; asking me to re-tweet the link to his film.
I enjoyed Brace, you gotta see it! Brace is an emotional, LGBT ride with surprises for the lucky viewer. As a writer, Jake Graf understands that our lives often refuse to take a clean, predictable path to our goals: we get bumped to the side, spun around and dirty. That’s where storytellers find drama. We must remember where we are going and get back on track (creating even more drama in the process).
Graf knows very well that gender transition all by itself creates drama. Graf did not make a simple transition/coming-out story. His characters take more risks, trying to figure out where they fit in life.
Thanks, Jake, for making Brace available to watch online.