One of my rings, in particular, has special meaning. It's a diamond ring I bought a couple of years ago to replace one that had been given to me on my 50th birthday and had been stolen. There's a bunch of back-story to it that I won't go into here, but in the end I decided to replace it and spent quite a bit of time looking for something that I liked, could afford, and "felt" good. Ultimately, I found it.
When I travel I typically put my jewelry in my luggage. But a year ago I was getting ready to go somewhere and decided to put this particular ring someplace different just in case someone ended up looking thru my luggage or something. Anyway - I forgot about it until a few weeks later but by then I'd forgotten where this "someplace different" was. So, although I've looked futiley for it I couldn't for the life of me find it. Until yesterday. It was in one of the pouches of a computer carrying case. Go figure. Anyway - I'm both relieved and happy, and my finger is glad to have it back as well.
I'm tired. I'm back in Charleston as I type this and I'd be glad to be back if the trip to get here wasn't so long and most of what I have to accomplish this week wasn't so much drudgery.
I suppose I should qualify things - when I left here last month and drove 2,200 miles to Arizona - THAT was long. Bur my flight was an Award ticket so my most reasonable options were roundabout routes at off times. The one I chose left PHX at 8:45 Monday night and headed west for 2 hours to San Francisco. I had almost an hour and half wait there before boarding the last flight out of SFO for the day - to Washington DC Dulles - leaving at 11:15.
We landed in DC at 7:00 yesterday morning (I got some sleep on the plane), and after trudging across the entire airport my 8:15 flight left Dulles for Charleston. I landed at 9:30, freshened up a bit, rented a car, and drove to work for the balance of the day. By sleepy-time last night I was beat.
I've got a busy week here. When it's done, on Saturday, I'll take the train from here to Union Station in DC where I'll spend the balance of next week. I'm doing several days of trainings for various governmental agencies, and I'm speaking at the Georgetown University Women's Center in DC Tuesday evening. Then, I'll head back to the desert at the end of the week. The key in all of this is pacing, getting enough rest, and finding time to exersize. That balances out the rest of the craziness.
Speaking of craziness....
Last week a badly worded piece of anti-bullying legislation passed in the Michigan Senate. The legislation contained language that seemed to actually allow bullying, so long as it's based on a sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions. Needless to say, given the current climate of heightened sensitivity with regards to bullying and teen suicide the outrage over this misguided law has been building (see details here).
It's going to be the focus of Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN tonight. And, in somewhat related news, Anderson Cooper has a daytime talk show (who knew?) and will dedicate a show to the controversial topic of trans youth sometime in the next couple of weeks. A dream-team comprised of Mara Keisling from NCTE, surgeon Christine McGinn, and thereapist-extraordinaire Dr. Michele Angello from Philadelphia were part of the taping yesterday and from what I've heard so far it went "great".
Speaking of contentious, in Massachussetts they've been working to pass anti-trans discrimination legislation for several years but run up agains the same set of fears (See story here).
And while I'm on the topic "visibility" , there's a Reality Show hitting the UK titled "My Transsexual Summer". I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of reality TV - actually I don't watch much TV at all - and it would be easy for this kind of thing to go into the toilet fast. But the reviews I've read are positive ones and universally highlight the broader human stories involved. (see one review here).
One review in particular (see it here) was absolutely glowing:
"...the first (I believe) reality show to concentrate solely on transgender people, is certainly one of the funniest, warmest and thought-provoking reality shows you'll see this year, and depending on whether it maintains its refreshing mix of breezy honesty, compassion and humour or descends into the traditional reality show morass of engineered feuding and all the submoronic rest of it, I might even go to bat for it being one of the year's gems in general."I hope they can keep it going....
I can't help but think back to a time long ago when I saw a documentary narrated by Lee Remick on HBO titled "What Sex Am I". The year was 1985 and the world was a much different place.
I can point to this particular show as one of those early eye-opening moments in my own journey. There's a scene that begins about 2:30 into it where this younger trans-woman is at home, living with a "big sister" who has already been through it all. After seeing that - it's something I always wondered if I could achieve for myself as I knew more than I cared to admit that I really needed a mentor and a friend to get through it all. The reason I mention it here is that this latest Reality Show seems to take that to a new level.
I can't believe that was over 25 years ago. As a side note, I did some research a couple of years ago to try to find out what happened to the people in the documentary and was sad to learn that this particular girl died of AIDS in the 90's....
The bottom line in all of this is the amazing moment in time in which trans people are living. That's not to say in any way that it's all wonderful and live is always great for us. But I remember a time when it was neither discussed nor spoken. I remember a time when sensational formulaic documentaries popped up a couple of times a year during ratings sweeps. But here we are - past much of that - publicly talking about issues of substance that affect our lives. Bullying. Trans kids. Takaing part in culturally relevant events. Trans people being represented AS people first, who also happen to be some flavor of trans. And more significant opportunities are just over the horizon and I dedicated myself a long time ago to be part of that change.
Agree with me or not - but this is a golden age. It continues to amaze me....
Lastly for today, I took a photo of a late-afternoon dust-storm moving into the Phoenix area last week. It has specific symbolic meaning for me at the moment. I really don't want to go into that part now. But I do think that the photo is kinda cool.