This is a topic I’ve been wracking my brain about since my WordPress peep, The Finicky Cynic, put it out last week in a writing prompt. She asks about her readers’ families’ background (i.e. native born or emigrants) and whether their families’ pasts shaped us in any way today. The reason I’ve been wracking my brain about this is I’ve personally never learned much about my family’s background, either on my mother’s, birth father’s, or stepfather’s sides, and I’ve never been one to think about the subject very much.
Time to catch up on another of The Finicky Cynic’s “June Jour Challenge” prompts. As I hinted during my first response, I’m doing these out of order and when I can think of and write up a response. And this is a rather simple response to a rather simple prompt, which is this: “Take a photo of an ordinary object on your desk (home and/or office) and explain why it has a purpose for you.”
I made passing mention in my last blog post about this, but it’s time to finally give it the spotlight here: Last Thursday morning (June 1), three members of the Wisconsin State Legislature introduced to assembled media and the public a new piece of legislation currently seeking co-sponsorship from fellow legislators. The proposal, as with any piece of legislation (federal, state, or otherwise), has a grand name: The Privacy Protection and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act. And a press release announcing the proposal succinctly sums up the bill’s importance:
“A bill that would add protections to Wisconsin statutes against discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or gender expression.”
If you saw some of my retweets on Twitter a couple of days ago, you learned that there was a significant bill introduced in Wisconsin’s state legislature that, if it becomes law, would prohibit discrimination based on one’s gender identity or expression. I’m trying to formulate a post devoted solely to that piece of legislation (which you can learn about here). But in the meantime, I want to highlight a couple of interesting LGBT-related items.
The first was another piece of big Wisconsin news this week involving Ash Whitaker, a student at Kenosha’s Tremper High School who received disrespect from the administration of both the school and the school district just because he is transgender. Originally, Ash made news for wanting to run for prom king, but was rebuffed by Tremper High officials who dictated that he run for prom queen or be dropped from consideration for prom court altogether. The school relented, allowing anyone who qualified for prom court to run for prom king or prom queen, whichever one matched the gender they identified as.
While I was waiting for new lenses to be installed on my eyeglasses, I walked around West Towne Mall (yes, I can still make things out without glasses) and browsed through a couple of stores such as Windsor, where I spotted and photographed the display you see to your right. As you can see, the mannequins are decked out in some awesome looking dresses, and in a respectable neutral color for late spring/early summer (off white). Look, too, at their feet; those are some pretty gnarly heels they have going there.
As you can also tell, there is also some serious gown action going on. You know, the kind of gown that goes well with a mortar board on the head. Yep, it’s the second half of May, which means graduation time. By now, your nearest high school or college will have had or are about to have their annual graduation ceremonies. Here in Madison, the University of Wisconsin already had their ceremony a couple of weeks ago. And this weekend, my oldest niece will walk down the gymnasium aisle, take her diploma, turn her tassel, and enter the post-high school world.
I’ll start this post with a little bit of levity: If you’re from Canada, you’re probably familiar with a CBC Television show called This Hour Has 22 Minutes. For the uninitiated, 22 Minutes is best described analogous to Saturday Night Live and its Weekend Update segment, in that it spoofs Canadian current events and TV news through its delivery of jokes, sketches, satirical commentaries, and man-on-the-street segments, regularly doing so in devastatingly funny and pointed fashion.
When I spent a week vacationing in Canada many years ago, I came across a 22 Minutes episode that included a recurring segment called “Canada in the Morning.” As you can guess by its title, it was a parody of the breezy TV news/chat shows one turns on (for the sake of white noise?) while getting ready to go to work. “Canada in the Morning” featured the fictitious duo of “Finnigan O’Toole” and “Lisa Thomas,” played respectively by Gavin Crawford and Cathy Jones, who in interview segments had a tendency to stray very far from the chief topic at hand.
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.
Oh, my goodness! It’s been over a week since I posted a blog entry. I could blame the fact that I’ve been preoccupied with work and other stuff, but that’s really too obvious of a target. So, I’ll blame something much more obvious: Having to buy a new computer.
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.