The Walk of My Life

Was there editing last night?  Yes, some.  I didn’t finish want I wanted to edit, in part because I was tired.  Why was I tired?  Well, I was out on a walk.  Though it’s not the sort of walk you might imagine . . .

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days you’re aware of what happened in Orlando Sunday morning.  I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to say something, but since hearing about this I’ve been a bit numb.  Externally I got a bit drunk Sunday noon, and yesterday I was sort of like, “Oh, how am I supposed to feel right now?” for most of the day.  You know, all the work stuff and whatnot.

But what do you say to something where over a hundred people are killed and wounded?  Oh, I know what a few people I know is saying:  “Islamic terrorism!”  Yeah, right.  The more you dig into the shooter’s life, the more you discover he was an abusive husband, a racist, that he had a whackadoodle for a father, and now, the biggest tip in of all, he was a regular at Pulse, he was using gay dating apps on his phone, and he was once so drunk in the club that security tossed his ass out.  It sound to me like another self-hating gay man so deep in the closet he sent out mail from the Narnia post office couldn’t take it anymore and snapped.

I’m still a little numb, but I’m getting angry.  Why?  The last few months have seen a rise in the hate:  against immigrants, against people of color, against the LGBT community and the push to legally discriminate against us, and, specifically, against transpeople like me, who have been labeled a danger to anyone who uses a public bathroom.  The guy on a FBI watch list who goes out and buys an assault rifle, no, he’s not a problem:  me taking a piss in pubic is, it would seem.

I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been spared a lot of hate.  Sure, there was the scree left by some assnoggin a few weeks back who was trying to get me to answer him so he could likely spam my comment section with hate–and who got sent right fast to the Memory Hole–but that’s the exception to the rule.

However, I know the stats.  I know that I’m twice as likely as a csiwoman to be assaulted, and have a fifty percent greater chance of being murdered.  I’m in the group with one of the highest levels of suicide in the country–if I were a transwoman of color I’d be in the highest–and suddenly I find myself among one of the most demonized groups of late.  It’s a lot to fall into after two years of transitioning; you give up your man card and put a target on your back.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was out to a vigil and walk last night.  It’s really the first time I’ve done something with the LGBT community other than attend my support meetings, which have because less over time, and in a way it was nice.  Sad, so sad, but nice to feel the solidarity.  I was there with several hundred people–probably around five hundred, maybe more–and Gov. Wolf was in attendance, as was our physician general Dr. Rachel Levine, who is also a transwoman, and even though my feet and legs were sort from standing for so long, I stuck it out.  Because I can.

And after that we walked just under a half mile to one of the main gay nightclubs in the city of Harrisburg and did our thing, which included chanting, cheering, and reaffirming that, yes, we are here, we are queer, and we will not disappear.

Photo by Vicki Vellios Briner, PennLive.

Photo by Vicki Vellios Briner, PennLive.

Yeah, that’s me on the left in bright blouse and skirt.  Right out in front ’cause I wanted to be seen.  And that’s probably the biggest contribution I can make:  to be out every day just being me.  ‘Cause if you see me, you can’t ignore me.

And if you can’t ignore me, then you have to accept me as a person.