Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The NEW Department

This was another of those wonderful weekends that make getting past the hard things worthwhile.

I got my hair cut and colored - it was much overdue.  That alone is a significant feel-good thing.  I had 2 inches cut off my hair, and it's still probably as long as it has ever been.  And blonder.

I did yard work.  I suppose that only makes sense if I explain that I very much enjoy yard work.  The weather was perfect for it.

But perhaps most significantly, it was a weekend of firsts for my motorcycle and I.

It was wonderful to ride again having been gone these past couple of weekends.  This was my first opportunity to ride since getting my license a couple of weeks ago.

Some of the firsts:

  • My first time on an Interstate Highway
  • My first customization - the new pipes I bought (they sound awesome)
  • My first time crossing some of the larger bridges in the Charleston area.
  • My first time riding in the rain
  • Last but not least, my first time riding as part of a group on an extended excursion

I also learned some important lessons in all of this.  First, I learned to tuck my top into my pants before getting onto a highway.  Duh.  As I was crossing the Don Holt bridge at 60 mph I realized that the wind was blowing up my shirt and exposing what was underneath far more than was appropriate.  I'll leave it at that..   :)

I learned how empowering it is to ride with a group.  We rode with our Women in the Wind friends from Mt. Pleasant up the coast to Murrells Inlet, just south of Myrtle Beach.  It's a 75 mile drive up the coastal highway, and provided a good opportunity to bond with a wonderful group of women.  We had lunch overlooking the water until the storm clouds in the distance made us head back home.

Anyway, it was a blast.  I can't wait to do it again.

In the "New" department, I've got a couple of things to share today....

News came out last week that a number of key organizations were withdrawing their support for ENDA.  The Task Force, the ACLU, and a host of other organizations are concerned over the religious exemptions in light of the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision, so they decided to pull their support for the bill as currently written (story here, and story here, statement here).  Is it appropriate to embed discriminatory practices into anti-discrimination legislation to make it more likely to pass?  The idealist in me says "no", but the pragmatist in me isn't quite so quick to make that leap.  Nobody asked my opinion, but in one of those unique life ironies I'd have no difficulty defending HRC's decision to continue supporting ENDA.

In other news, Dr. O's website has been updated to say that he is expecting to retire on 8/29.  I have been expecting this, but now that it's looming I don't know that anyone will really appreciate what he has done for this community until after he's gone.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the rise in visibility of the trans community over the past two decades is directly related to two things.  The first is the internet - it allowed us to find one another, to communicate with one another, to realize that we weren't the only ones who felt like we did.  The second is Dr. O's FFS procedures.

Dr. O represents a unique golden age for the trans community - the likes of which I suspect will never be seen again.  He helped us to develop from an embryo into something far more active and vibrant.  Some may scoff that a single doctor could have that kind of impact but I'm confident in what I say.  Both through his work, his energy, his creativity, his vision, and his generosity - he is singularly responsible for many things that we accept today as simply "normal" but for which he never asked or received credit.

I, as well as dozens (probably hundreds) of others can point directly to his work as the single most life-changing thing in our entire lives.  It was seeing his work, as shared via Andrea James' original website, that provided the glimmer of hope that transition was even a possibility for me.  Today, others are doing FFS.  But it all started with Dr. O.  I will be forever grateful to him and I hope to be able to thank him in person (again) before he leaves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Donna, absolutely agree. He is a visionary who saved hundreds if not thousands of people's lives. I too can attest to his skills being the turning point for my life which was spiraling away into the void to become the accepted, adjusted, confident and authentic woman I am today.

I can't put into words what he did for me and I feel very fortunate that I was able to benefit from his services and also that I was lucky enough to be able to cobble together the cash and debt to be a patient.

Happy retirement and much love to an incredible ally (Mira too!!!).

Sarah C