When Death Comes…. (Goodbye, Kitt)

Young Kitt Kling

I have known my friend, Kitt, for some 14 years.  He was a trailblazer in the FTM community in the metropolitan DC area back when it was not safe or cool.  Kitt started a website for FTMs back in the days when many people still used 1200 baud modems.  The website is now defunct, but he listed all sorts of resources, and there was a chat function.  Guys all around the nation made use of his website with its chat function and the resources listed.  (See here for all that I can find.)  So Kitt was not only a local hero, but a national hero as well.

Kitt appeared on a national TV talk show — and for the life of me, I can’t remember which one it was.  He used the pseudonym “Alex Fox” in those old days to protect his identity.  To call him a trailblazer would be an understatement.

Kitt organized a Yahoo list-serve called Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis Guys.  The list-serve still exists, but is mostly inactive.   Through the list-serve, weekly Wednesday night social gatherings were held at a Friendly’s restaurant.  It was there that I first met Kitt, and he has been a friend (and neighbor) ever since.

I just got word that Kitt passed away last night.  He was just 60 years old — 2 years older than me.  It would not be right to say that Kitt’s death was unexpected, but it would be right to say that I am shocked beyond belief.  Kitt had a hard life, and he was not always the best friend, but he was the best friend he could be, given his circumstances.  Among other things, his was the loudest voice warning me to not get involved with my psychopathic wife and he spent hours and hours and hours trying to convince me to stay clear.  He did his best, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Even so, he did support me with regret when I got married, and he and his partner and his son were the ones who filmed my wedding video, which I won’t post again.  Here are some photographs from all the years I knew Kitt:

Kitt Terry Rob - Birthday and Send-off to UK 2009 Jay and Kitt - 2010-06-19 2003-06-14 -- Sandy Point -- Kitt Rob AJ TerryS Corbin -- 02 2003-06-28 001 Birthday Bash 2003-06-28 002 Birthday Bash 2003-06-28 003 Birthday Bash 2003-06-28 004 Birthday Bash 2003-06-28 005 Birthday Bash 2003-06-28 011 Birthday Bash Beer at American Legion with Kitt and James 2011-04 Storm - 2010-07-26 - 17 - Kitt's Tree - Copy Terry and Kitt - 2010-06-19Wedding - 18James Kitt Paula - 2010-07-04 - 003 James Kitt Paula - 2010-07-04 Kitt - Birthday - 2010-06-19 -04

2003-06-28 015 Birthday Bash

Well, the photos are not in chronological order.

  • Celebrating my birthday in October 2009, shortly before my first trip to the UK to meet Paula
  • Celebrating Kitt’s birthday, June 2010, just before I married Paula
  • ~2006, a trip to Sandy Point, MD, with friends
  • Next 6, photos, June 2003, celebrating Kitt’s “barbeque birthday bash” in his backyard — same yard I can now look across the fence and see from my own backyard
  • A glass of beer that Kitt bought me at the American Legion in 2010 while I was struggling to understand why my wife wasn’t sending me the damn (nonexistent) deed to her house
  • July 2010 — a big storm with tornadoes hit Greenbelt during the month that Paula was here to marry me, and a tree fell in Kitt’s yard
  • Back to June 2010, me giving Kitt a hug (and getting a hug) for his birthday
  • July 2010, the pretty box that Kitt hand-made, containing the wedding DVDs for me and Paula
  • Next two photos — July 4, 2010 — Kitt and friends helping me show what an authentic American 4th of July was like — unappreciated by her
  • Last photo, again, another shot from Kitt’s birthday in June 2010
  • The “gang” at Kitt’s birthday bash in 2003

A dark and sideways video of Kitt with my voice the loudest.  Except for the wedding video, it’s the only video I have of him.

From the photos, it’s easy to see that Kitt was loved by many.  Dear God, look mercifully over Kitt.  Forgive his failings, and honor his integrity.  Comfort those left missing the hole he will leave in our lives.  Take away his suffering, and let him understand that those of us who knew him appreciated his gifts.  I wish I’d seen that last text message, and had his company one more time.

Hug the people in your lives who’ve made a difference, even if they are not perfect.  I could not have transitioned from female to male if I had not met Kitt and the wonderful group of friends he banded together.  I am very sad tonight.

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About DogDharma

Dog Dharma is written by a human who loves dogs and who believes dogs have attained enlightenment. The human behind Dog Dharma came from humble origins, has faced many trials, enjoyed many adventures, and taken a path less traveled. He claims no special privilege or expertise, and remains humble. Dog Dharma‘s author has learned a few things along the way, and has much yet to learn. He has been told by many people that he has a talent for writing, and aspires to write a book, but is a little too lazy and disorganized, so his blog will suffice for now. He opens a window into his life in the hope that some of his words may be of comfort, some may be a beacon or warning, and perhaps he will connect with like-minded souls. Everything shared comes from a place of openness and honesty, but with no claim that he possesses the Truth. People and places mentioned should be taken as pseudonyms. In many cases, details may be an amalgamation of actual events disguised to protect the “innocent.” Nothing written is to be taken as actual fact, but as the author of Dharma Dog‘s limited understanding. From the mouths of the Beatles: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make
This entry was posted in Alex Fox, death, friendship, FTM, FTM hero, gay, GLBT, goodbye, Kitt Kling, lesbian, LGBT, MTF, trailblazer, transgender, transgendered and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to When Death Comes…. (Goodbye, Kitt)

  1. maggyann says:

    I am sorry for the lose of your friend Terry. I know it must be painful for you. Try to remember that though he has gone from your sight you are still in his. Dying is just a moving on. Sadness is left behind but think and celebrate the joy of his spiritual family as he returned from his latest mission on this plane. Just because a loved and admired friend has left this world does not mean they have left you. If you are aware of yourself and your surroundings in the quiet times Kitt will still be there for you, willing you on and sharing his strength and love. You never know he may even manage to put a word in with ‘Fred’ to give you a surprise boost of one sort or another. I do hope so. Thinking of you and sending you peace and all good things through the ether.

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  2. DogDharma says:

    Thank you, Maggie. I now know why I couldn’t sleep at ALL last night. Weird thing, that. I must have sensed that something was wrong. I’m trying to put on a happy face, but I feel numb and in disbelief. This guy had a monumental role in several aspects of my life. We had our odds and weren’t always close-close, and yet we WERE close, but I’d known him for 14 years. I’m very sure he is sending me strong messages through the ether, and I just hope I listen.

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  3. Jamie Ray says:

    When you lose a friend like Kitt you lose a part of your history. It is one of the tragedies of middle age that our demons and past mistakes often catch up with us. I think it is very good that you are airing all the stuff about Paula so that you in some way make sense of it and keep living.

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    • DogDharma says:

      Thanks, Jamie. I appreciate the words of encouragement. Kitt was one of the pioneers of the FTM community. I met Jamison Green at his house many years back, and he was an organizer and participant in the True Spirit conferences that were held in DC around 2000 – 2003. Friends seemed to remember that it was the Phil Donahue show that Kitt appeared on as “Alex Fox,” and he created the now-defunct but trailblazing “Alex’s Basement” website. He had strong negative feelings about Paula, and as it turned out, he was right on the mark. Not a mistake I will make again. Once more, thanks for reading — your blog is great and your writing is superb.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Diego Sanchez says:

    Nothing but love in this time of reflection. We all have each other, as we live and even after. Those True Spirit days were something. Much shall never be revealed! But smiles pervade it all because we do share a true spirit and have for years. Diego

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    • DogDharma says:

      Diego, please get the word out if you have friends who knew him back in the day. He made a huge difference in so many lives, and I strongly feel his contributions need to be honored.

      Like

  5. Pingback: Becoming a Man (…with Kitt’s Friendship) | Dog Dharma's Blog

  6. Pingback: Ain’t Life a Brook (the Afterparty) | Dog Dharma's Blog

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