It's Friday again. Sheesh. It's amazing how much you look forward to Fridays when you actually have a work week. Even though I'm very much enjoying what I'm doing the vision of the "weekend" is something to look forward to. I'd go so far as to say it's one of the things that makes NOT having a regular schedule a bit unbalancing because every day is pretty much the same except that there's less traffic on the weekends.
More than just being a weekend, this is a long Holiday weekend. Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer for many although here in Charleston temperatures have been in the high 80's and low 90's since I arrived. It has been wonderful.
E and I are planning to take the boat to a nearby island and go camping there for the entire weekend. Fishing, crabbing, shrimping, kayaking, relaxing, walking on the beach, photography, more relaxing - needless to say, I'm very much looking forward to it.
I wanted to follow-up on something from my last post. Specifically, the situation in IL where the ACLU is suing the state for its Birth Certificate change policy that requires proof of surgery. Several people left comments indicating that they support the requirement, and so do I. That's why I indicated that it's a good thing nobody is asking me to support the lawsuit, because it's not something I can support. I find it unfortunate that we're punishing those who have more supportive policies while other states who have stricter, less supportive ones (or downright prohibitive ones) aren't receiving that same kind of challenge.
Perhaps it's a generational thing - I can't say - but as politically incorrect as it might be I admit that I can't wrap my mind around being able to change a birth certificate without that kind of disciplined structure. I'd argue that that's what makes it legitimate. I know as well as anyone reading this that anybody can get a letter from a psychologist saying pretty much anything so using that as the standard not only removes the discipline, it removes much of the validity.
The big news this week was a verdict in the Nikki Araguz trial in Texas. Her husband was killed in a fire last year and she has been blocked from receiving widow benefits by his ex-wife because of Nikki's history. More than that, they're looking to invalidate the entire marriage. The case and the underlying questions have received national attention (NY Times article here).
I have to admit that I wasn't surprised by the outcome. This is Texas, after all, and we've been down this path there before. And I also have to admit that the entire thing is a mess. There are a number of complications (like Nikki not having changed her birth certificate until after the marriage) that cloud the simpler question of whether or not a trans person can have a legal marriage there and, if so, to who. To make things even messier shortly after the verdict was announced Nikki was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly drugging a woman and stealing her Rolex watch a few months ago (details here). Whether that's true or not remains to be seen. But the fact that it happened at all is indicative of the circus this has become.
Some are saying that this case will be appealed and may up in the Supreme Court. Until someone can convince me that it has a reasonable chance of being overturned, all I can say is that I hope not. Whether or not you agree with the verdict, it's just to messy to use it to establish that kind of legal precedent. Nikki is also hawking a Reality TV show featuring herself. All I can say to that, too, is that I hope not. That won't be good for anyone. Including Nikki.
On another note I was chatting with Jamison Green yesterday catching up on things. He recently earned his PhD so now I suppose I should refer to him as Dr. Green. He will be running unopposed as the next Director for WPATH (formerly HBIGDA) which may not seem like much right now but I expect to become a big deal. WPATH is currently in the process of revising the Standards of Care and doing other things to increase their relevancy and I can't think of anyone better to lead in that effort than Jamison.
As for me - I'll be unreachable this weekend. I'm unplugging, kicking back, and just relaxing. Whether anyone else agrees or not - I feel I've earned it.