I want to tell you about what I did — and didn’t — do this past Thursday night. First off, what I did do was attend a little get-together that raised funds for the LGBT pride parade in Madison this August. It was a rather simple party, with just under a couple dozen supporters and Board of Directors membership of Madison’s LGBT community center, held in the home and garden of one of the center’s longtime supporters in one of Madison’s more cozier and aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods (lots of shade trees, narrow and winding streets, beautifully manicured yards).
I had started work on another post about a different subject this morning, but the significance of this particular day (June 12) has ordered me to take a different direction tonight. Today is, of course, the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 lovely lives were cut short in horrific fashion.
It’s already the middle of May (already?!), and the other day, I finally — finally! — did something I hadn’t done all year: I dressed up and snapped some pictures to share with all of y’all.
After a busy Friday of work in the morning and volunteering in the afternoon, I headed home late afternoon with one more personal commitment, a meet-up with fellow CD/TG people that evening. Rather than just slap on a wig and jeans, I decided to take a bit of a stylish route, starting with a nice cream colored jacket I bought several years ago at Forever 21. It does have a nice combination of spring feeling and stylish attitude.
My previous post, which you can read here, had me talking about a place of higher learning not too far from my old neck of the (literal) woods establishing a LGBT resource and support center. After I added it to this blog, I couldn’t help but think about it further…
First off, I can’t say enough how great it is for the University of Wisconsin—Marinette to establish a LGBT center. I’m happy, of course, that it’s happening in the area where I spent the later years of my adolescence. More than that, though, I’m happy for those in Marinette and vicinity who identify as part of the LGBT spectrum or are LGBT allies, for they finally — finally! — have somewhere where they can find resources; obtain information on healthcare, transitioning, support, etc.; or just find a safe, welcoming place where they will not be judged for who they identify as or who they may be attracted to.
Please don’t let the title of this post make you think I’ve become blasé about the opening of a center dedicated to those who identify as part of the LGBT community. That’s not the case, for any office or center, large or small, that’s dedicated to providing support, resources, or just a conversation place to our community is a vitally important thing to have, wherever it may be. Now more than ever, it seems that these centers and the resources they can provide are important, even as our community has made great strides towards rights and acceptance.
Yeah, I was angry last Thursday. And not because I heard about how lawmakers in North Carolina repealed that infamous “Bathroom Law” law that not only required transgender people in government and public buildings to use the restrooms that goes with the gender on their birth certificate, but also prevented local municipalities (like, say, Charlotte) to enact anti-discrimination policies — which, in turn, led to North Carolina losing a lot of lucrative business (like, say, college sports championships).
Today (March 31) is the International Transgender Day of Visibility, which is a day meant to celebrate those who identify as transgender and to help raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans people everywhere. (It should not be conflated with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs in November.)
I won’t get too much into the ins and outs of TDoV in this post, though I do recommend you learn more about the day (here is a good starting point). What I do want to do is dedicate a few lines of prose (and passing references towards David Bowie and J. Geils Band) to this day and to trans people of all stripes, especially those who, by circumstance or choice, may not live out and proud. While this prose may not be perfect, know that the words are meant to communicate my appreciation for you, whatever you may identify as.
“I See You”
I see you over there
Sitting all alone and scared
You’re not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
And it’s got your mother in a whirl
The world wants to put you down
And make you frown
They’re misguided for insisting you’re one thing
When you know you’re not what they’re saying
They want you to wear one set of clothes
A set in which you’ll never grow
For that, they think you’re an abomination
But, really, you’re an amazing creation
I know, they want to put you down
To keep you from wiping off your frown
You know you’re one thing
When everyone says you’re another
But to me, you’re more than a sister or a brother
No, really, you’re beautiful
Just the way you are
So don’t be afraid
Shine your own kind of light
Fight their darkness with your personality bright
Oh, I’m sorry
You don’t want to come out?
You do want to be the person you are
But you don’t want to scream or shout?
It’s okay, I understand
I have my own four-walled Neverland
Where I can feel free
And be who I know I be
Which is whatever gender I can be
But you want to be quiet about it
And, really, that’s okay
For it’s good, even better
To be more than whatever gender
But I do wish you can be free
You deserve to be who you know you be
Free from prying eyes
Free from disdaining eyes
Wait… Please, wait…
Yes, I see you
And I do accept you
For you being you
No, it doesn’t matter to me
What gender you may be
Male or female
Maybe both, maybe neither
Know, though, that I admire you
And I will stand by you and with you
And help protect you
And keep the wolves at bay
No matter what the world may say
I’ll have your back until my last day
Fully displayed or in the closet
Know that you’re living honest
But if you’re not out now, don’t worry
For if the time comes when
You show the world who you are
There will be those who will call you friend
There will be those just like you
Or supportive and accepting of you
Who will have your back if you fall
And help you stand up and stand tall
I will be there with you
For today, I see you
And I love and respect you
Because no matter who you are
And no matter what others will say of you
You are living your life… amazingly
Just by being… you
I really, really wanted to write about another topic in this post, but it’s a somewhat complex topic that can wait for another day. But I will be able here to clear out a couple of bookmarks related to..
Yep, Supergirl! I must be upfront that although I will watch an episode or two of a comic book-inspired show or motion picture on television, I don’t make a regular habit of tuning in, Supergirl included. (Note to self: It’s good to diversify your TV habits away from all sports all the time.) Part of the reason is that I’m preoccupied by other adult things, sorry. However, I must single out Supergirl for the route it has taken in its second and current season, with episodes obliquely or downright directly tackling real life issues we mortal earthlings are currently facing. Earlier this month, Supergirl aired an episode that had vividly clear and unadulterated parallels to the real life issue of welcoming and tolerating immigrants in the United States. And back in November — right after You Know Who was elected You Know What — one of the show’s significant characters, Alex Danvers (AKA the adoptive sister of Kara/Supergirl), disclosed her attraction for another woman in an episode that was a real pick-me-up from a distressing and horribly impacting election.
While I wrote my last post about how Colin Mochrie’s child came out to their family as a transgender woman, a thought was running through my mind. But it wasn’t so much about the fact of one coming out to their family as, well, anything other than a cis-gender straight person. Rather, it was more about how they come out.
I want to devote this post to something that completely escaped my attention last month, and it’s about that “intersection” of two things I’m so cool about: LGBT support and the sporting world. Over a year ago, I wrote a post about this:
Yes, that’s rainbow tape covering those stick blades. Or as it’s officially called, Pride Tape. It was launched in December 2015 by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (ISMSS) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Not long after it was first unveiled, the Edmonton Oilers became the first National Hockey League team to use Pride Tape (or at least a prototype) in an on-ice event. Not too long after that, Pride Tape started being sold through an informational and transactional website (PrideTape.com), with portions of the proceeds going to support the ISMSS as well as You Can Play, an organization “dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.”