Archive for February, 2009

Negatively Positive

February 18, 2009

Okay, I think I have some explaining to do. Many people have been asking me what’s going on with me. The simple answer is that while my political views have not changed, my attitude and approach has. It had too. I was waking up each morning not really wanting to get out of bed and questioning why I should. I was losing hope,  heading for a meltdown and I was scared.

I kept seeing the crap that was going on in D.C. with various organizations, the way transgender people were and are being treated by national gay and lesbian organizations and worse, by each other.

Then one day, I woke up and refused to focus all my attention and energy on all the negative bullshit. Is it still there? Hell yes. I’m not sticking my head in the sand, I just can’t let it run my life and poison my soul. I refuse to be my own worst enemy and if I am to be an effective advocate, I have to be healthy. God bless the wonderful people in our community who can point out all the injustices we face from all directions, each and every day. I love you very much but I can’t be one of you. At least not all the time. I do promise to protest with you and be there to support you and listen whenever you need me.

I need a little positive motion and I have made the choice to concentrate on the changes that I know I can help to make through positive motivation. We have a window of opportunity with a new administration, wonderful and powerful changes in our oldest and largest transgender organization, an out transgender man working for a Congressman. I won’t even get into the fantastic work being done by young people and grassroots efforts across the country. Times, they are a changing and I need to look forward with something to look forward to.

I want to be alive to see more changes happen and if I continued on that path of constant negativity,  I doubt I would have been around to see them.

On another note:

Here’s a gem that I dug up and I couldn’t help but notice how the words ring just as  true for us today as they did for the women’s movement back in 1976 when this song was performed.

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IFGE (Pt.2) and other stuff

February 14, 2009

Since I wrote my last post more than a few days ago a lot of things have happened. Controversy surrounding IFGE. Organizations becoming irrelevant and then made relevant again,  being accused of working with the devil and then not so much. I’ll tell ya, it’s really been a roller coaster ride. However, through the many twists and turns I have to say that I’m so very proud of our board of directors for standing firm and not letting any of it ruin the momentum that we have and not letting any of the negativity drag us down.  We survived and the spell has not been broken. This all just feels so right.

I had originally planned to write this post right after the flames began to fly. I had much more to say about what others were blogging about and the big stir that was created, but I don’t feel as though it’s an issue any longer. One of the things that I have learned from being part of many unhealthy yahoo chat groups is to address issues, handle them like an adult and move on together. We need to keep those lines of communications open, make those phone calls or accept those phone calls and talk about the issue at hand. I accepted one of those calls and am a better person for it. I also made more than a few and feel like progress is being made and a community is coming together in a way that has never happened before. If you don’t feel like you are a part of it but you’d like to be, send me an email at ethan@ifge.org.  The time is right my friends, join us and be a part of a movement that is affecting your life. This is our lives, this is our movement and we are all invited!

Breathing (IFGE conference part 1)

February 10, 2009

Last Tuesday I packed up my luggage and headed to Washington, D.C. where the IFGE conference was located.  I don’t get to be alone all that often so the 8 hour drive wasn’t that bad.

I rolled into town at about 1:30 am and was greeted by Denise Leclair, IFGE’s executive director. Of course she was awake, it was only 1:30 in the morning and Denise doesn’t usually hit the sack until at least 3:00 am.. Speaking of Denise, hats off to her and the rest of the people that pulled this conference off. It may have been smaller than usual but it was THE best conference I have ever been to and make no mistake, it was quite successful.

It almost felt more like a retreat than a conference. The workshops were close and intimate as were the meetings and gatherings at the bar in the evening. At one point I mentioned how close I felt to everyone and how much I felt we had all bonded. Lynn Conway turned to me and her exact words were, “can you feel it?” Indeed I could.

I feel so lucky lately to have had such positive experiences and community building opportunities with some of the most brilliant minds in our movement. I am truly humbled to have been a part of the whole experience.

It seems that everyone walked away feeling that same charge of electricity in the air. We were fueled by each others passions and exhilarated by each others knowledge.  There were times when I was sitting with some fantastic people having a great time and I knew this was something out of the ordinary.

You know the feeling that if it ended right then that it may never happen quite the same way again. uhh…anyway. To all the great friends I made and the old friends I met again and to the folks who made it all happen. Thank you for a fantastic time.