Archive for August, 2008

Instant Karma

August 12, 2008

I know a number of people in our community who travel extensively to educate, lobby and speak on behalf of our community. Some people do this for a living and have become professional speakers, some do it because they are leaders of national or local organizations and it is required of them. I admire and respect the work that they do on our behalf and I expect that the organization they work for are paying their expenses or they are being compensated as professional speakers.

Oh, but wait, there is another category of persons who will travel for cash and speak at either TDOR events, candlelight vigils or bereavement ceremonies only to further their public image. That’s right, go back and read that again. I said exactly what you think I said.

Over the years, I have been offered to have my travel expenses paid to go to events across the country to speak at Transgender Day of Remembrance events and other similar ceremonies and I can honestly tell you that, as poor as I am, I have refused the money and either paid my own way or in cases where that just was not possible, I had to decline the invitation. Maybe that sounds foolish of me but I’d much rather have the money go to a family who just lost someone they love to help them get along while they are taking time off work to attend a murder trial. A community who just suffered a loss doesn’t need to be spending money to cart someone’s ass across the country when there is a much bigger need then to hear some self promoting, self important person speak. I won’t name names here, you know who you are.

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Naming of Parts

August 6, 2008

Yesterday while I was going over statistics for the transgender day of remembrance website, and breaking them down by year, by type of death, by State, by Country, I began to look around and notice everything else in the world. At that moment, a poem by Henry Reed popped into my head and I haven’t been able to get rid of it so I thought if I blog about it, it might go away. So here goes….

Naming of Parts

To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.

~Henry Reed

August 8, 1942