As for the first photo - the flowers with the fresh raindrops on them were intriguing so I took a couple of close-ups. I absolutely love this time of year, and one can never be moving too quickly to stop and appreciate simple beautiful things like these.
I find that my relationship with my blog is much like a relationship with a friend. Sometimes, we just need to "talk" more often depending on what's happening in life.
During my transition a dozen years ago I had so much to to say...so much that I needed to "output"...that finding safe outlets became as critical as breathing. I can't thank the people who invested the time an effort to be what I can only describe as "pen-pals" with me enough...SMRInExile was at the top of that list. That, and an on-going journal that didn't judge or complain.
I recently fixed some broken links on my website that bring those early days back. They are the original documents and writings that formed the basis of my book. And they're available online again for anyone interested in getting a sense of how it was for me (Trapped In Blue).
A word on current events....
Back in 2007 I left the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign over our failure to support trans-people in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). It was a very public split, and one that I'd do again in a heartbeat. The thought of dropping people most needing protections because they were also perceived as a potential political liability is contrary to what brought me into activism in the first place.
I've argued for a long time that eventually corporate America will implement discrimination protections and will remove barriers to benefits that have been embedded in corporate policies for decades, making ENDA almost moot. But the fact is that having a job - having a career - is a significant part of validation that satisfies not only the practical day-to-day needs of paying bills and living life, but of personhood. As a society, codifying our values has more than symbolic value.
The reason I mention any of this today is that the Senate held a hearing yesterday regarding ENDA (story here). And although I've faded from much of the spotlight in those circles my passion for those core tenets of justice and equality remains as bright as it ever was. Kylar did an amazing job, and having those kinds of opportunities to humanize ourselves as otherwise ordinary people simply living life don't come around very often.
Reaction to the hearing by those looking to perpetuate age-old stereotypes was immediate and typically nasty (see an example here) but that's nothing new. Nothing has changed in that regard. But I'm confident that opportunities like this will continue to demonstrate that who "we" are and what "they" want to portray us to be are not one and the same.
I mentioned in a previous post that I feel my "history" has affected my career in negative ways over the years. Most of us have similar experiences. As articulated in US News and World Report today:
A recent study, "Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey," found that discrimination against transgender people was a very real problem in America.
According to the study, transgender people experienced unemployment at twice the rate of the general population. Ninety percent of transgender people surveyed reported experiencing harassment or discrimination on the job or had to take actions to avoid it.
Legislation isn't going to fix that. But it needs to be fixed, and it's not going to happen by itself.
I do my part. I'm in the process of converting a talk I did at the Department of the Interior last fall into a format I can share on my website. I hope to have that done over the next couple of days.
If it's not done by tomorrow it'll have to wait. As I previously mentioned, I'm thinking about doing a road trip to see my mom and son. Lots to do between now and departure time....
Finally - I've mentioned before that I've followed the Canadian power trio Rush since I first became aware of them in high school. The first time I saw them in concert was 1979, and I've seen them more than a dozen times since. My brother is even more of a Rush-nut than I am.
Anyway, they released their 19th studio album this week. It's nice to see bands from my youth, bands whose song played an integral part of my own growing up, still doing what they do and doing it well (album review here). :)