I didn't get to experience proper autumn until I was eighteen and heading off to college on the East Coast.
Watching some news clips I see people who are angry, confused, depressed, stressed out. There are also people who are looking ahead and are ready to take on what challenges lie ahead. We may not control all the situations but we do choose how we respond to those challenges.
A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It's about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community, and everyone plays a crucial role.
I was so happy when pride was held this year. It was wonderful being with my LGBTQI+ and nonbinary sisters and brothers. A month later I celebrated the 16th anniversary of introducing Genevieve to the world.
Three years later, in 2008, I, for the first time, entered a church (above)dressed in women's clothing. Unbeknownst to me, a church service started a few moments later. Having grown up in church, I decided to stay. I felt no guilt or condemnation by the way I was dressed. There were no disapproving looks or stares. Just people taking in the service. During the passing of the peace, there were smiles, nods, and warm hellos. Another milestone for me. A few years after this I found a church that accepts and affirms trans people.
From time to time I stop in Holy Cross Church whenever I'm in the area. It holds a special place in my heart. It confirms that God does not hate transgender and queer folk like some believe.
I visited my senior center and the LGBT center. They have reopened recently. Though my senior center has had food pickups people are slowly trickling back. Some of my friends can't wait until it gets to some kind of normalcy. The LGBT center, or The Center, reopened a couple of weeks ago. it was quiet with staff and a few visitors.
One thing that was evident is the isolation many feel during the pandemic. It's felt even more in the LGBTQ+ circles. Yes there was a pandemic but did the city have to be shut down? I don't believe that it should have. It has done more harm than good, in my opinion.
I also see how much I appreciate life. I miss seeing my friends and doing some of the activities I was doing before. I pray as the city reopens more will be focused on the needs of people. The pandemic exposed many things lacking. Homelessness, food challenges, violence, anger, etc. It's time for leaders and corporate officials to put up or shut up.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon a street fair during a foray downtown. Was surprised that there was one. I walked up Eighth Avenue browsing through the many booths. There was clothing, jewelry, precious stones, leather goods, and plenty of food.
This made me think of the people and places I stumbled upon during my life. Never planned anything, it just happened. Many of these occurrences had a impact on my life. Still do.
Many of the places are gone. Some of the people are still here. I wonder if someone will follow in my footsteps.
I attended the pride parade and the liberation March. It was the first time in two years. Much has changed and so have I. I know I'm queer however I felt it on a much deeper level. Being around my queer and trans sisters and brothers was refreshing.
There were more gender expressions and identities. Men with beards wearing dresses. Women wearing androgynous hairstyles and clothing. It reminded me of when I was exposed to many gender identities and expressions years ago during my questioning phase. Hat gave the impetuous to move ahead.
I am so happy to have gone to pride. It made me see how fortunate I am to be a member of communities often vilified by society. I love my queer and trans siblings.
Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well-being. In short, they make cities better places to live.
It's Pride Month! Unlike 2020, there will be some outside activities albeit limited. Covid has changed how we celebrate and, more importantly, how we do so in the future.
I have a couple of thoughts about where pride events may be headed in the future but that's for a future post. I'm just happy that there will be a parade. In the meantime, celebrate your pride with all your heart.
The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable, and imperfect.
There are people who don't want trans youth to participate in school sports. This is specifically trans girls. I've heard nothing regarding trans men. I listen to the way opponents frame the subject. They refer to tans girls as biological males. Aren't trans men biological females? What's the point?
What I definitely see is that many folks still haven't a clue about who trans people are and what we are about. The lockdown didn't help matters any as many trans people have been isolated from the people and activities they enjoy. Keeping them from participating in school sports only adds to that isolation.
I'm happy that parents of trans children are speaking up in support of their trans child(ren). Children have even testified to legislators. With a spate of anti-trans bills being presented (and passed in some cases), this will only create more problems for trans youth and, in my opinion, youth in general.
Mom never knew me as Genevieve when I came out in 2005. She passed in 2001. We shared an interest in fashions and flowers. I asked her numerous times about color schemes when she was making her own clothing. She knew what went well together and what colors looked good on me. I wasn't embarrassed about wearing pink. We shared a love/hate relationship with the fashion industry.
Mom taught me about hospitality as she entertained people who were lonely. Mom had that quiet strength, something I inherited from her. I didn't know that I was trans while she was living but I wonder if she knew that there was something different about me. In recent years the words of wisdom she shared have come to fruition in me.
I thank her for helping me become the person that I am now. I believe that she would have loved Genevieve just as much as she did her son. I do miss you, mom.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Today I stopped by the church where I first entered wearing women's attire. A couple of weeks earlier I visited the same church wearing a suit. This happened in 2008. I am not a worshipper here, however, I stop by on occasion to meditate and pray.
My spiritual walk is very important to me. I grew up in church and wanted to be involved as Genevieve. I attend a place of worship where LGBTQ+ people are accepted and welcomed. I want be more a part of trans people being affirmed and welcomed in churches. I've heard so many sad stories of people being asked to leave their places of worship because of who he/she is. This shouldn't be. I share my experiences whenever I can.
I don't know how God will lead on this matter but I certainly will be a part of it.
Empathy is about standing in someone else's shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.
~Daniel H. Pink, Author (b.1964)
There have been a spate of anti- trans bills presented in various legislatures around the country. These bills will single us out and, in some cases, put lives in jeopardy. Transgener people are being blamed for the ills in our country.
Instead of blaming us, why don't they shine a light on the lousy politicians and officials who don't care about their constituency. They only care about power. Those religious leaders who claim to love God, and yet, demean us as human beings, need to examine what it means to love your neighbor.
Yes, we are shamed, demeaned, and singled out but we rise. We have always been here. We aren't going anywhere. God loves us just as we are!
One year ago a disease we knew nothing about cast a dark cloud over every aspect of our lives. Schools were closed. Jobs were lost. Restaurants shut down, some permanently. Crowded streets became ghost towns.
As many as 500,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the US, and over 2 million worldwide. Vaccines have been developed and are now being distributed to all who want them (have my reservations about its effectiveness but that's another story). The question is what have we learned about our medical systems? The government?. Ourselves? One thing is certain; life WILL be different.
I have many thoughts about the covid-19 pandemic. My sympathies go out to the people who lost loved ones, friends, and coworkers. Even when coronavirus abates, there still will be the need for therapy for front-line workers-many who have seen the devastation coronavirus has reaped. As human beings, I pray that we have become better people in our relationships, our jobs, and our communities.
This may be an odd time to bring up the need for queer spaces. With the pandemic still with us, it has affected nearly every facet of our daily lives. We will get through this, however, how will our lives as queer people be in the so-called new normal (words I loathe to use)?
Many businesses and establishments have closed shops. Numerous spaces for LGBTQ people have gone into history for several years. In a sense, some of the histories of our community is lost. One of the drawbacks of the lockdown is the inability to connect with other human beings. This especially affects LGBTQ people since personal interaction keeps us connected with one another.
As a trans person who is a senior citizen, I want to see more spaces created. We need them. I'm curious to see what creative ideas will emerge when the pandemic is over? I pray that more things for our community will happen.
This week Dr. Seuss's books were declared unacceptable by cancel culture. Statues have been knocked down. If anyone disagrees with the left, they are vilified, their livelihoods, taken away, and reputations destroyed. They want to tell everyone how to think and what to believe. I'm having none of it.
I'm a person of color. I know what racism and prejudice is. I've seen some horrible pictures of black people who were murdered. I remember a number of years ago viewing a picture of a black boy screaming for his mother as she was taken away in chains. Revisionist history is a lie which is saying that these events did not exist. This does a disservice to the people affected and to the people who desire to know what actually happened.
Cancel culture is a bunch of people who think that they are doing a service to right the wrongs of the past. Many horrendous events happened throughout history and nothing can change that. One can learn from it. Regarding the statues being torn down, the majority of them are of people I have never heard of. If I'm interested I will research who the individual. Part of education is gaining knowledge of the people or events.
Now people are buying Dr. Seuss's books like hotcakes. I have read some of his books and enjoyed them. I am liberal and have some friends who are conservative. I want to have a dialogue with them so the problems in the country can be dealt with and resolved. There are people on both sides of the aisle who desire this. Cancel culture doesn't want that. They create more problems. With them, it's their way or they will destroy you.
More folks, liberal and conservative, need to challenge the cancel culture. They don't have a market on ideas because they don't have any solutions. They live in a utopia that does not exist. If America is to move forward there needs to be united, not divided. I believe that the ills of the country can be resolved. Let us work together.
Many transgender women have been murdered since November20th. The vast majority are women of color. We are getting bashed on many sides. It seems that many folks' sensibilities about what a woman or man should look like have been disturbed.
Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. We bleed just like anybody else. We want to live happy, productive lives. Trans people have been in existence since time began. We are more visible now, thus the attacks and ridicule.
I chose to live my life openly 15 years ago and have never been happier. Many transgender and non-binary people are out and I'm happy to see this. More will do so. While there will be pushback, we will NOT be made invisible.
I watched the inauguration this morning. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as the 46th President and Vice-President, respectively. I was impressed with Lady Gaga's rendition of the National Anthem. Amanda Gorman's poem was simply beautiful.
I didn't vote for Biden but I wish him well. I said the same for Trump when he was president. Now the real work begins. Right now the country is divided. People of all political persuasions will need to come together talk and listen to each other. There are people of goodwill who have solutions to the ills that presently trouble us. Now's the time to come together and heal as a nation.
The pro football playoffs are going on now. However, I want to recap the 2020 season. There were surprises, disappointments, and some downright awful play by some teams.
Miaimi- Dolphins are rebuilding but have a promising future. Vet QB Fitzpatrick was a steady influence.
Cleveland- didn't see them making the playoffs. Was I fooled! Physical team; Good QB in Mayfield
Las Vegas- Gruden's teams tend to falter late in the season; defense not good. Raiders need improvement on D line.
Philadelphia- Eagles were really bad. Unsettled at QB. Need more talent at skill positions.
Chicago- Bears unsettled at QB;
Minnesota- Vikings were inconsistent.
Jacksonville, NY Jets- nothing more to be said.
Over the past four years, I have witnessed the extremes of the left and the right. Violence is violence and I don't care what kind of ribbon they try to put on it. People have been hurt, harassed, and sadly lost their lives. What have we become?
People are fearful, lost, confused, and angry. If one is not part of a particular tribe then they consider you the enemy. The so-called 'leaders' of the nation have failed to bring peace and direction. Whatever happened to the time when people can agree to disagree without having their character ripped to shreds?
I am praying for America. The country needs a spiritual renewal of minds and hearts. Yes, there are many concerns that do need to be dealt with. Solutions need to be found. I am an optimist because I believe that the good will prevail. I believe the majority of people want to see and help resolve climate change, hunger, homelessness, racism, sexism, and hopelessness. It has to start in each person's heart and mind. Something to think about in the coming days.
What happened yesterday at the Capitol was horrible but hardly surprising. President foments much of this with the rhetoric he spews. What is sad is that a woman was shot and later died. Does Trump care about her?
In the past four years, I have seen the extremes of the left and right in full display and it's not a pretty picture. Also on full display was how the protestors were treated. There were police in full regalia at the Black Live Matter protest. They were prepared for the worst. When Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, where was the show of force? If this was black or brown people there would be injuries and death, for sure. Many were concerned that this would happen but were ignored.
Right now, the country is so divided. The extremes on both sides are fueling this. One side won't talk with the other about anything. There are much fear and loathing. Perhaps in a future post, I will share my thoughts about the drive for nationalism and patriotism and why we are at this point. Stay tuned.