Last night the Commander and Chief of this country reiterated that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the military.
This proclamation, which should have been a surprise to nobody, caused a wave of anger, frustration, indignation, and fiery backlash throughout my Facebook world. Although disappointed, I don't feel that same level of emotion. It's another skirmish in the culture war we've been fighting, and is yet another reminder why we fight it.
To be clear, I'm not complacent nor unaffected by all of this. On the contrary. It's just that when I'm focused one of the things I'm typically good at is blotting out emotional "noise" that tends to cloud that focus. I know that about myself. Otherwise I end up swinging at the wind and losing track of things I can actually affect. This is one of those things.
I had a friend who was trans, and who served in the military. She ended up attempting suicide because of the way she was treated. She was successful on the second attempt, after the first attempt left her broken and hopeless. The story of many of our trans brothers and sisters isn't simply one of honor on the battlefield. It's of the battles that happen behind the lines - with their own military and their own government. The end up as part of the body count, not from enemy fire but from "friendly" fire. They become collateral damage. Those stories rarely get told because there's nobody around to tell them.
I've got a lot happening in the next couple of weeks. I joined the Board of Out and Equal late last year and we've got an event in San Francisco on Thu-Fri this week, preceded by an all day Board Meeting on Wednesday. It's a very exciting time for the organization as the founding Executive Director recently retired so there a new captain at the helm. They sent me my itinerary and my script for the brief speaking portion of this I'll be doing. I'm sure I'll have more to say on this as it unfolds.
I fly back to Phoenix for a day - for Easter - before heading to Dallas for the balance of the week. I've got offices in both Phoenix and Dallas and have made the commitment to spend the first full week of every month there. Most of the engineers who work in my organization and our main body of management is there so I typically have meetings and other face-to-face things I can't do when I'm in Phoenix.
From Dallas I fly to Miami for an American Airlines National Equality Board meeting on Friday. Then I fly home to participate in the Phoenix PRIDE Parade. I'm the President of the American Airlines PRIDE EBRG here in PHX so I've been coordinating that for weeks. The parade is typically our largest event so it's quite the logistical feat to pull it all together.
And lastly, I have applied for a couple of new roles at American Airlines. I've got an interview for one of them while I'm in Dallas. I don't have much more to share on that at the moment other than I've made my peace with a number of things. Peace is a good thing.
I do a weekly podcast called "The Deeper End". It's a lot of fun to do. This past week we tried something new - we had a group of 4 women as guests to discuss something at my podcast partner Diana felt would be a fertile topic. It was. The best part of it was getting to meet some new friends. Anyway, we'll publish that in a couple of weeks once the editing is done.
Today I've got a meeting at Arizona State University to learn a bit about what's involved in pursuing an MBA. Monday I've got a Board Meeting for One n Ten. I need to finish my taxes. The list of "stuff" going on is a long one. But for anyone who knows me, it's just the speed of life for me. I guess I'm used to it. :)