Friday, August 6, 2010

Dangerous Streets

Fall is here.  You'd never know it with the 110+ degree days we've been having here lately but the NFL Preseason starts this weekend.  Football=fall.  Ergo, fall is here.

Things in my world are very busy but not all that much to share.

One thing I do want to share is the craziness of the city streets around here.  Watching the news every night is a reminder that every time you get into your car you take your life into your hands.

I'm sure that's true everywhere, but one of the things we noticed when we first moved down here a dozen plus years ago was that the drivers are absolutely nuts.  If there's an empty road with two cars on it, there's as much chance as not that somehow the two cars are going to hit one another.  Why?  I don't know.  What I do know is that I've been all over the country and Arizona road drama never ceases to amaze me.

Here are 3 stories from today and yesterday.

In the first, a high-speed chase across the entire Valley where it's fortunate that nobody got killed.


Second: School started here this week.  Today, a car carrying 10 students from a local high school,  ranging in age from 12 to 16,  swerved to avoid a car that was turning.  The driver lost control and rolled several times, ejecting several of the kids.  Two of them have since died, and I wouldn't be surprised if that number isn't higher by tomorrow.

Third: A 12-year old girl was killed yesterday when she was hit by a car driven by an 82-year old woman as she crossed the street on her bike.  It's just tragic...

Why all these clips from Fox? - you might ask...  It's easy.  They're the only ones who seem to have a helicopter.  Two news helicopters crashed here last year and it seems as though Channel 10 is the only one in the air anymore...

Angie Zapata would have turned 21 years old this week if her life hadn't been brutally ended during a savage beating at the hands of someone who justified his act by saying it was due to the fact that he was enraged at learning Angie's unique situation.  Shortly after her death a number of people, including me, were invited to attend and speak at a vigil for Angie.

I put together a slideshow of photos from the vigil....

Angie Zapata Vigil - Greeley, CO - Aug. 9, 2008

These kinds of things remind us of why we do what we do.  To attend something like this is to make this fight a very personal one.

The reason this is pertinent tonight is that another of the people who spoke at the vigil that night was Adam Bass from GLAAD.  He wrote a wonderful entry on the GLAADBlog yesterday titled "Remembering Angie Zapata and Reflecting on Media Coverage of Transgender People" (read it here)
Unfortunately, crime stories involving transgender people are all too often sensationalized, with inappropriate focus on a person’s gender identity, and include material that is disrespectful and dehumanizing. The bodies of transgender people are rarely granted the same privacy that is given to others in the media. Covering crime stories about transgender people can be challenging, but it is extremely important that it is done well.

I wrote to Adam to thank him for his important words. They are oh-so-true.

When I was growing up none of this made news.  Transgender was invisible.  It was unspoken.  It was a much different world than the one that many of us are living today.  But just as every action has an equal and opposite reaction so too have the advances we've made, the awareness we've helped to achieve, and the outdated stereotypes and stigmas that we've helped to shed made us targets for those who would steal that which matters most to us.  Our dignity.  Our futures.  Our lives.

None of us can afford to forget the past....

Speaking of the past - the ten year anniversary of my SRS is coming up next week.  Ten years.  That's 20 percent of my life.  I still worry sometimes that I have actually fallen asleep during halftime of a football game and will be rudely awakened for the second half kickoff - with all of this having been simply a dream.  If this is a dream - I never want to wake up....

Speaking of dreams - same sex marriage in CA! Believe it or not, there are those who aren't nearly so happy about it as I am/we are. Here's one response.  Here's another.  And another.  And another.  And, a call to impeach the judge.  As for me?  I'm just smiling.

No comments: