Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

Charlottesville 20.08.17


Charlottesville 20.08.17

Morning has broken with a quiet Sunday, the only interruptions a crow cawing in the distance, and the sound of typing from a student on a table nearby.

My mind drifts. I became addicted to the news this week, lesson preparations taking hours more than necessary as I kept returning to the stories about Charlottesville.

Now here again I sit at the computer looking out at blue skies and clouds, leaves and branches flickering and rustling. I'm thinking about the week gone by, and Heather Heyer.

Heather was the girl who died in Charlottesville when a Neo-Nazi terrorist ploughed his car into protestors. I read her profile, gazed at images of her, thinking, if our paths had crossed, we would have got on. She looks like that kind of person, who has time for people and is open to everyone, of every creed and colour, not to mention gender.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has given voice to a neglected minority of his own, the disaffected whites of rural and suburban America who seek answers in chauvinism. Trump could have given leadership to these people by saying, after Heather's death, the scapegoating of the disempowered is not the answer. Those Nazi salutes and talk of final solutions enacted on certain helpless minorities is no solution at all; it has been tried, there were no winners.

He didn't, of course. I wonder how bad things have to be, for things to change. Because Trump represents something, a growing alienation of one more social group, and I'm not sure it's enough for the mainstream to say: let's go back to how things were.

My mind is wandering now. Trump is right – to a degree – to say there is a mainstream media, presenting skewed information. I remember reading Time magazine, week-by-week, unable to identify with a smarmy, complacent set of perspectives. Regulation: bad! American Capitalism: the only answer! I read they bashed Jeremy Corbyn's rise as irrational. I remember being surprised, because I liked Corbyn's manifesto, and don't see what's irrational, unless you're super-rich and scared of paying higher taxes.

My mind returns to Charlottesville. Will a media that's spent decades blaming minorities for a country's ills pause for self-reflection? The stoking of resentment with diversionary scaremongering, with shock jocks and columnists and their dog-whistle hatreds, where did they think it would lead? Do they see the connection, and their own complicity? Or will they lay the blame with Trump, who ironically becomes one more scapegoat.

There's a lot of scapegoating at the moment: Nazis blame minorities, the media blames Trump. Racism bad; Trump bad. Yes, all true. But when will the media and the political establishment take the courage to ask the real questions: where did Trump and all this racism come from?
The Uplift 30.08.17
Something Off My Chest


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