03 December 2009

Trans developments

During and after my European tour, I was practically unable to blog at all - or write any new material for Sarah.

But I must now note some key developments in the trans community:

  • Los Angeles Times sports commentator Mike Penner, who had changed his identity to Christine Daniels and started living as a woman, committed suicide last weekend. While Penner/Daniels was a top-notch, sharp-witted sports commentator and enjoyed full support of the Times management, the rampant level of machismo and hatred in the sports world was too much to handle - and even reverting to the male identity was not enough, and life became too overwhelming.
  • I was in San Francisco, again, during the weekend as well - and ended up having some great time with local trans activists. One was San Jose-based Nori Herras-Castaneda, who works tirelessly to help LGBTs and HIV+ folks in Silicon Valley; she also has the greatest husband any woman can hope for, and the three of us had a great lunch. The others were longtime BFFs Paula Santos and Louise Kastro, whom I had first met during the Pride weekend. Louise is a nurse, while Paula works in the San Francisco city government and has done a lot to advance the trans cause in San Francisco. I value all three as friends, especially due to their high intelligence levels.
  • Just last night, I attended a fundraiser for Dr. Dana Beyer, a distant Facebook friend of mine from Maryland who is running to become the first openly transgender state-level legislator nationwide. I loved her eloquence on Facebook, and again last night in person. Dr. Beyer also informed me that another transgender professional, Amanda Simpson of Tucson, Arizona, has also made history by being hired at the US Department of Commerce; having known of Amanda's public coming out at Raytheon and over the Tucson TV airwaves back in 2001 first-hand, I am very moved at her progress as well. In fact, Dr. Beyer is helping out with making arrangements for Amanda's move to the DC area.
While the death of Christine Daniels is a sad news, I am happy to be connecting with the community again - and that is an inspiration for me to resume my writing. If Dana Beyer and Amanda Simpson can advance the trans cause with politics and government service, I must pitch in with my own contributions - though that will be literary and linguistic rather than political, and that's the way I like it just fine.

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