It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than a week away. Last year I came to Charleston from chilly Nebraska and the trip turned out to be a life-changing one. The decision to come back east and everything that has happened since were a direct result of that trip.
I've made another life decision. The lease on my apartment in Charlotte runs out mid-February and they need 2 months notice of my intentions. I gave official notice that I will not be renewing it. I'm not sure of the specifics of where I'll be come my birthday in a couple of months - expecting it will be Charleston (although my job in Charlotte will keep me busy thru the end of the year). But what I do know is that I've got quite a bit of work to do between now and then to move out and make arrangements for "what next?".
I'll also share that I have started to investigate the possibility of buying a house. I'm at the early discussion phase but at least I know what my options are and what would be involved. I haven't had these kinds of discussions since late 2001 so even considering this is a big deal me. Anyway, I expect there will be more to come on that.
I wanted to weigh in on a couple of things that seem to be fairly controversial at the moment. Nobody asked me for my opinion but I'm going to share it anyway.
First, I wanted to say something about the recent bru-ha-ha about the movie The Interview and yesterday's decision to shelve it as a result of threats (presumably from North Korea). There is quite a bit of sentiment that Sony shouldn't have caved to these threats, and that it sets a bad precedent.
Well, I think it's only the most recent bad decision that Sony has made in this mess. The fact that the movie depicts an effort to assassinate the leader of North Korea inherently put it directly into the crosshairs for some kind of international confrontation. They should have known that. I would have expected that the movie would, perhaps, use some fictitious character based on North Korea's president who leads some country that's very similar to North Korea as part of a satire. But to make a movie that specifically mentions killing real people is begging for trouble. Can you imagine the international outcry if the movie depicted killing Putin in Russia?
If the shoe were on the other foot - if someone in some country made a movie that depicts an assassination attempt on Barak Obama there would be a huge outcry here for sure. Well - in my book this was ill-concieved from the get-go and shouldn't have been made in the first place. Sony put themselves between a rock and a hard place and now they're dealing with the consequences. I realize my opinion may not be , but Sony doesn't get a free pass in all of this in my book. They tempted fate and fate bit 'em.
The second topic of the day is a recent song by B-52's siren Kate Pierson titled "Mister Sister". It's the first song from her upcoming solo album. Kate made the mistake of saying that she hoped the song would become a sort of "trans anthem". Not wise. (story, and the video, here).
I'm convinced that Kate had good, if misguided, intentions (and yeah, I know what they say about the road to Hell....that's not applicable here). I saw the B-52's at the HRC National Dinner a number of years ago and they were wonderful...they're very supportive of the community. But I could list at least a dozen reasons why this song is bad, starting with the title. To take that at face value and then take take the leap to label her as "transphobic" is wrong. She's not.
The subsequent outcry on social media targeting Kate Pierson was unnecessary and misguided as far as I'm concerned. This was an education moment, not an attack moment (see one response here). It seems as though many who demand that the world recognize that gender is NOT a binary adopt a reaction approach that has only two flavors....allies and transphobes. It doesn't work like that.
A similar pattern is happening over a recent landmark Candy magazine cover featuring 14 prominent visible transwomen as role models. We've already started attacking that. Not good.
This has been an incredible year for the trans community. I was recently friended on FB by someone who helped me a great deal in the early days. Her willingness to share her story online helped me find the courage to finally begin accepting myself before transition, and became a reason I felt a need to pay it forward. She published a very detailed account of her life and her transition online and it was one of only a half-dozen stories or websites that resonated with me. That was almost 20 years ago and I sometimes forget how different things were back then with compared to now. I hope this rate of change continues.
I'll be headed to Charleston today on my usual weekend trip home. I'm very much looking forward to it....