Monday, May 23, 2011

Justice or Just Us?

(Caveat- this one gets political)

By now the entire Western world, Eastern world, in between, and Planet 10 by way of the 8th dimension have heard about the fate of Osama Bin Laden (OBL). So shall it be to those that kill over two thousand plus people, unless your name is Bush. By now we have all heard how a Seal team defied the odds and fought their way into a fortress and shot OBL twice in the head.

Then the GOP started wondering out loud if this was “legal.”

Oh please. Don’t get me started- party of torture, concentration camps, and illegal wars. But I stray from the point. OBL and his organization plotted the murder of people for many years. Clinton shot at him with Tomahawks and missed. Bush didn’t care one way or the other. Three years into his administration, President Obama signed the orders that caused OBL’s death. He paid the price. Justice is served.

We know this- it’s been everywhere.

A couple weeks earlier, a trans-woman was beaten in a Baltimore McDonalds for entering a ladies room. The two attackers beat her until she suffered seizures. The staff of the restaurant was so concerned that they recorded it and cheered the attackers. The staff then urged the attackers to get away before they could be arrested. Maybe it matters that the attackers and staff were black and the victim white, but it doesn’t seem so. One of the attackers attacked a black woman a couple weeks previously in that same McDonalds. The guy filming it was eventually fired.

A few weeks later, the Baltimore DA finally charged the attackers with hate crimes. What took so long? Maybe he wanted to see if he would lose votes for supporting the TG community? Who knows? But in any case, the news cycle had already moved on. Everyone was now on the Bin Laden story, then the Trump stupidity, then a Royal wedding, then Newt. The only people following the Baltimore story are maybe Baltimoreans and hopefully the TG community.

And so I finally come to my point (figure I had one, right?). The past month has been historic times. We saw the death of the head of a terrorist network (and the seizure of his computers and papers- think that’ll help us more than torture?). We saw the opposing party attack the president trying to divest him of the credit for ordering this. We saw beginnings and endings. Oh and the rapture didn’t happen. All these things- wow! So what about Chrissy Lee Polis?

Remember her?

The news has passed her by as has an opportunity for us to hammer away for our rights. With the video on our side, public sentiment was rolling at least a little. Rallies. People learning about us as people, not as “freaks.” Some even saying this was our “Stonewall:” A flashpoint after which everything would change- where the TG community may finally move forward to being recognized as people.

Ms. Polis is still in Baltimore. Still living daily with the fallout of that attack. Hell, she hears in the media that her one attacker is "a well-mannered, thoughtful young lady, and I firmly believe that when this case comes to trial, she'll be found not guilty." She would be the one whose mouth put most sailors to shame and who dragged Ms. Polis across the floor by her hair. How thoughtful of her!

The fact is that we are again alone on this. It’s Just Us. And I don’t mean the album by the Monkees. It comes down to not just the activists- the Mara Keisling’s, Chloe Prince’s and Donna Rose’s. It is down to all of us each time that jerk says something, or when someone truly curious WANTS to learn. It’s about education. It always has been. It has to be.

In the end, we are outnumbered by they. They will wave religion at us. They will wave social convention at us. All we have is that this is who we are. We didn’t choose this life, but we represent it. All of us- From the part time crossdresser to the full time transgender to the person still hiding scared in their apartment. And as representatives- as teachers- we can win this. Dr King proved this. Gandhi proved this. We CAN have rights. We CAN live our lives. Because otherwise, any of us could be Chrissy Lee Polis. Or Stacey Blahnik Lee, murdered. Or so many, many others. Not much of a choice is it?

Friday, May 6, 2011


What a momentous few weeks this has been!  So much has happened that I'm still sorting it all out in my head.

By now, most of you have heard about the beating that happened in Baltimore.  I will address my thoughts on that, but not now.  I'm still watching and thinking about this- hoping that justice will be done.

Then there is the death of Osama Bin Laden.  Monumental.  Again, I'll talk about it some other time.

These are things that HAVE happened.  I want to write about something that is not happening... for me at least.

This weekend- as I type- is the Empire Conference in Albany, NY.  Last year I attended this conference.  This year I am not.  Last year, I learned a lot, grew a lot, and made wonderful friends.  This year, none of those.  Why not?  Simple.  No money.

Normally, my activities as Sopie are paid in advance by my ebay sales.  My job just doesn't cut it.  However, due to the timing of this conference, I had to spend the money elsewhere- on my wife for our anniversary (20 years together- 18 married).  So that meant no trip up.  And as it turns out, I had a huge car repair last week so I am REALLY broke.

What am I missing?  A chance to grow.  Last year, I went shopping for the first time as Sophie.  I walked down a busy city street on a Thursday night- alone (in my black lbd yet!)  I went into a drugstore and bought things as Sophie.  Of course, there are seminars as well.  Oh, and last year I did my first actual stand up comedy routine in front of an audience. 

I miss my friends who will be there.  I feel like the kid who has been grounded on a Saturday night and all my friends are out at the best party ever.  I will hear the stories, see the pics, etc, but it won't be the same. 

What I miss most is time to be me.  To be Sophie.  A few days as a woman- to sort out all those feelings and thoughts inside me.  I want to be able to move on this when ready- but I know that I won't have the money.  So what do I do? 

What do any of us do?

We wait.  And hope.