I was thinking… what do you guys think about trying to get the tag #welovemishacollins up on the trending topics tomorrow? It’s his birthday and I think we should try it again.
I thought I’d take time out of my day to submit my own story. Now, Misha Collins hasn’t saved my life, exactly. I think of it more like he gave me one.
In the beginning of 2011, I was in a really dark place. I suppose you could say I hit rock bottom. But before I get into that, I had a really messed up childhood. For one, my Dad was an alcoholic. He drank so much that his liver was trying to shut down, so he had to go on dialysis. Doctors would try and make him go on diets that would be easier on his liver, but he ended up refusing and walking out of the appointments. He thought he was dying, so he shut my mother and I completely out of his life, except for insisting I visit him once a month. Me and my mom were forced to move in with my grandparents because she couldn’t afford any living space or get any job that would enable her to do so. His logic was, “I don’t want my child growing too close to a dead man walking.” In the beginning, the visits weren’t too bad - he called me by the nickname I got as a baby, he took me for rides in his truck, we had lunch in a cafe beside a truck stop, he demonstrated his CB radio to me, tried to get me to like watermelon and became despaired when I spit it out, took me to State Fairs, and once put me on his lap and had me steer the steering wheel on his truck. Some visits were good, some were bad. Then one time when he was working, he had a trailer propped up on a jack that he was working on, and the trailer slipped off the jack and landed on his leg. It had to be amputated, and once he had only one leg, he drank even more, he started skipping dialysis appointments, he looked sick and his hands would shake, and visiting him usually meant him talking in the kitchen quietly with my mom while I was left to sit in the living room and stay in the quiet. When I tried to jump into their conversation to tell him something that happened at school, he’d snap at me for interrupting and call me bad. Visiting him monthly quickly became my least favorite time of month, and I began to hate the visits so much that I kept begging my mom to make excuses for us to skip them. Then his liver shut down completely in 2006 and he died in his sleep.
After that I completely tore myself up because I thought it was all my fault. I should’ve visited him more, I should’ve insisted we move in with him, I should’ve acted happier, brought him presents, make him fight, give him something to live for. But I did the same to him as he did to me and my mom, I shut him out, and then he died, and amongst hating myself I ended up hating him. And this gave me a bit of a dark mindset.
And a quick tidbit about my school situation during all of that: I was trying to please everybody and their cousin’s mother, so I was trying to be perfect in the eyes of my mom, my family, my teachers, my classmates, and society. That of course means perfect grades and conforming to female gender roles. Also; friends. Bad friend situation. Didn’t really have friends. More like people who took but never gave. That gave me some serious trust issues and I ended up lashing out at people all the time.
I stopped taking care of myself, then. I’m not sure if my mom noticed, because around that time she was noticing her spine was causing her great pain. But she did notice that I was in a really low place, so she and my grandma surprised me one day by driving me out to a ranch. I met the owner of the place, an extremely kind and generous man who went by the name of Cowboy K, and we arranged riding lessons. It gave me something to look forward to at the end of the week, something to work hard for, and Cowboy K gave me the approval and reassurance and self-confidence and affection that I sorely needed. He became a father figure to me, and was basically a best friend to my mom and I. In his own words, he “took me under his wing.” He even sold me one of his horses for $900 and a saddle for free, then started training me with Cody (the horse) in both riding and horse training in general. One of the best things was seeing his face light up when I used one of his tricks perfectly, or got Cody to do something that took a lot of discipline. He’d tell us stories about how he’d brag about his “best student” to his family members. We were talking about organizing a bonfire night so we could talk, and he was planning this “Extreme Cowboy Race” for me to go through, which was basically an obstacle course that he got inspired with by RFDTV, to take place that Saturday as my lesson. The day before Saturday, though, he was killed in a freak riding accident. That did a number on me, too.
The ranch buckled and his wife decided that she had to move. Hasty arrangements were made and we basically slapped a pasture together on our 9 acre property, rented a trailer, bought a donkey for a pasture pal, and moved them both to our own property, taking on the financial responsibility of two large animals instead of a single boarding fee.
Things got really bad after that. At that point I hit middle school, where gender roles were really important, along with the concept of “normality.” My mom’s spine got so bad that one night when she was lying down she was thrown into such agony that we had to call 911 and get her to a hospital. It turned out she had a spinal disease where a disk is worn as thin as tissue paper, essentially. It was hard enough with money as it was; we were still living with my grandparents and surviving off of Survivors Benefits, and every time we tried to move out, the attempt failed catastrophically. To make it worse, I was getting viciously bullied. There was this one individual that constantly came up to me and would tell me all of these ways that she could kill my horse, or all of these ways that she could kill me, or my mom. Upperclassmen would pass me in the hallways and aggressively hum the theme to My Little Pony. Then I let it be known that I was an atheist when I protested a violation of the Separation of Church and State. I was shoved into lockers. I was shoved into a wall once. One time I was surrounded by the entire class and they were all yelling.
I was so consumed with this vitriolic hatred for everything that I begged my mom to take me to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnosed me with mild depression. He suggested breathing exercises and fish pills. It didn’t work. Things got worse when I became extremely aggressive for seemingly no reason. Whenever someone slapped a stereotypical female gender role on me, I’d snap. Whenever I heard a catcall, I’d snap. Whenever I was called a lady, I’d see red. One time my family insisted it was because I was a tomboy and I blew the frick up. And I had no idea why.
Then when summer vacation came we all watched a documentary on Chaz Bono and it clicked. I came out as transgender to my family a few weeks later. They were more than accepting. I hacked off my hair, gave all of my old clothes to a shelter, and bought men’s clothes, and it was like an elephant riding on my back fell off. I could breathe for once. My head was clearer. Quite simply, it was liberating.
I discovered Tumblr not long after that. I was mostly here for Harry Potter and Glee (both gave me the initial strength to come out and present myself as male), but then I started seeing this weird monster show on my dash with an angel in a trench-coat that made me smile and this one man in a sock-monkey hat talking about his naked costars. So I decided, “Eh, what the heck.” So I searched for “Supernatural” amongst the channels and I caught it once on TNT. The first episode I ever watched of Supernatural was the tail-end of 5x02. I had no idea what the hell was going on, people’s eyes were turning black and they were shooting at each other while yelling at each other to stop and there was this one dude with majestic locks tied to a chair and then a deep scene at a picnic table and a Lord of the Rings reference. I mostly made fun of it, but I liked it anyways, so I recorded the show. The first full episode of Supernatural I watched, and I consider myself lucky for this, was Free to Be You and Me. Dean, Sam, and Cas made me smile and the mythology and dynamics had me caught. I ended up watching all of Season 5 on TNT up to Swan Song (I remember because when Lucifer blew up Cas I pulled a face and went “Is that really necessary?” - The second time ‘round when I watched it from the Pilot I made a noise like a dying wombat). I didn’t love the characters, exactly, because I didn’t know why everything was happening. But, TNT had the series on a loop, so I was able to watch it forward from the Pilot.
I ended up connecting with Dean and was severely attached to the show and the brothers when Season 4 hit. Castiel was like a bucket of cold water to the face. I became so interested, and as I watched past Season 4, 5, and 6, I found I was relating to this character an astounding amount. It was a great comfort. I felt like I was figuring myself out.
Then we come back to Tumblr, and I already knew that Castiel is played by Misha Collins, and then I start hearing about all of these fantastic things he’s been doing with a charity he found, his wonderful sense of humor, and pictures of him in drag. So I started following links and learning as much as I can, and reading fan experiences with him, and reading reports of a mission to Haiti, and learning that he renewed his vows with his wife Vicki in drag and they have a son named West Anaximander. And all of these things just… it made me stop and think. About humanity. About society. About myself. Seeing Misha with his “I’m wearing a dress in public and I am still a man because fuck you that’s why” attitude and his catchphrase “Death to normalcy” made me feel better about my less masculine traits. I felt more secure about traits that are usually regarded as feminine. Feeling more secure meant that my gender dysphoria wasn’t triggered as often (and it’s not a fun thing when it does trigger), which then meant I started to relax more. I felt happier. I started liking myself, because I was me and not another cluster of gender roles.
And then I read about how he took such an extra effort to make fans happy and how he created this non-profit charity and went abroad and helped people who had practically nothing, and I was looking at all of these people’s smiles and I thought, there are actually decent human beings. Look how far kindness can go. So I started acting nicer to people. I made sure to remind myself to comment people and smile at them. There was this one guy that I was unjustly mean to in Elementary school that came over to my lunch table in the far corner of the cafeteria and sat down across from me asking if he could sit with me at this empty table because he got kicked out from his old table. I said sure, and when the janitor swooped in to make sure he wasn’t bugging me, I insisted it was fine. Now we talk about all sorts of things at lunch - him usually about Legos and video games, me usually about classic cars and books, both of us about politics and equality, and he’ll fanboy about Nikita and I’ll fanboy about Supernatural and neither of us have any idea what the other is talking about but we talk about it anyway. I noticed he smiles more often.
And you know what? Ever since I started showing kindness, people have been kind back. And I was inspired to join a plethora of clubs, one of which holds the title of greatest community service work in the county. It was absolutely fantastic, even if I found it kind of ironic that I helped create a Christmas package for a family that couldn’t afford Christmas presents when my family received it’s own Christmas package. (We even made big plans to head down to Joplin to replant trees destroyed by the tornado, but our chapter was barred from going because we didn’t have enough people, unfortunately.)
And lastly, I learned that this man - this incredible man - started out with an extremely poor family and lived with someone else on a farm. That he was raised by a single mother and had a father figure named Mr. H who helped them before they discovered he passed away. That he still came from that past and was a carpenter, worked in the White House, and is now a well-loved actor, despite his old financial situation.
Misha Collins gave me a sense of self. Misha Collins made me feel like a human being, instead of dysphoria-on-legs. He gave me the drive to change myself for the better, and I use him as inspiration whenever I do something for myself instead of conforming to this concept of “normal.” Because Death to Normalcy. And I love him so much for that, and for proving that random acts of kindness can change the world.
We’re already over halfway to our goal because of you. You are all incredibly generous and amazing — we’re struck completely speechless. Thank you so, so much for making this project a reality. We hope Misha is as touched by this as we are. Amazing. Thank you all SO MUCH for everything you’ve done. From the bottom of our hearts. Thank you.
We also want to take this post to make two updates on the home front:
- Follow our Twitter and tumblr pages — some exciting contests are coming soon! Prizes will be involved!
- Keep sending in your fan videos! They should be like the amazingly touching stories we keep receiving at We Love Misha, just in video form. (In case you were confused as to what we want in the videos.) We’ve received some amazingly touching videos so far and we hope to see more in the future!
—Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you can’t make a video, you can submit a letter to the scrapbook program we’ve also got going.
Again, thank you guys SO MUCH for helping to make this project such a success. You’re all a huge inspiration to us. If you want to donate to the cause, check out our Crowdrise page.
—The team at OAA
It has already been done. There’s a link below the header “Tags”. Click on there and then click on stories ;)