God made me for a reason
And nothing is in vain
Redemption comes in many shapes
With many kinds of pain
“Travelin’ Thru” Dolly Parton, from Transamerica.
“Travelin Thru” is a very special song to me. Depending where I am in my life, it can help provide a emotional towline to the shore of normalcy. In fact, “Travelin Thru” is not only my favorite song, but the song that has carried me through dark times. I cry sometimes when I hear it.
“Travelin’ Thru,” from TransAmerica, was nominated for the Oscar for Best Song. At the time I thought it odd that it lost to “It’s Cold Out There For a Pimp,” but I cynically wondered if the old white guys who ran the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences felt more comfortable awarding the Oscar to a hip-hop number than to a song from a movie about a middle-aged transwoman going to meet the son she never knew she had.* An openly religious song, at that. (Yes, I am aware of the issues of trans-erasure in the TransAmerica as they cast a woman as a transwoman rather than a man. (Huffman’s real-life husband William H. Macy would have been a better choice.)) I have never seen the movie; I got the song after I saw Dolly perform it on the Oscar telecast, and it has become almost my anthem.
I find myself angry enough with Felicity Huffman over the college cheating scandal that when I hear “Travelin’ Thru” I find myself getting annoyed. I know it will go away — the song is too important to me — but in the meantime, I’m grumpy.
*On the other hand, this was the Oscars where Crash won Best Picture over Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, Munich, and not the least, Brokeback Mountain. (I would have gone with Good Night and Good Luck, myself.)