germ wars

sadly for us, the evil germ empire has won this round.  we were unable to drive to Columbus to meet The Bobs (E for the first time) while they’re in Ohio for new year’s, because whatever i had took a turn for the worse (i won’t bore you with horrible details).  it was a big disappointment for her, as she was really excited to finally meet them.  for me, too, but i’ve learned to never get my hopes up, so i don’t get let down.  it means i rarely get excited anticipating or looking forward to anything, so when it doesn’t work out i just resign myself to the inevitable.  call me Eeyore, but it works for me.  take that, evil cooties from space.  i’m down, but not defeated.





Leelah’s note

a year ago, Leelah Alcorn, a young transgirl, killed herself.  below is her suicide note.  her story is not isolated. hateful, bigoted families and churches, lack of gender education, uninformed biased employers, refusal of the health insurance industry to cover legitimate necessary procedures, and even fracture and lack of support or advocacy among the LGBT community itself—all these and more continue to drive people to despair.  please, if you want to be part of the solution, become informed and be supportive.  then her death and others’ won’t be in vain.


Leelah’s note:
If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.
Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in.
When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.
My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.
When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.
I formed a sort of a “f*** you” attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted.
So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.
At the end of the school year, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. I was excited, I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn’t actually give a s**t about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week.
After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like s**t because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.
That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that’s not a good enough reason for you, it’s good enough for me. As for my will, I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don’t give a s**t which one. The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s f***ed up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.

nature flukes

i forgot to mention some odd natural encounters from our trip.

the first was seeing all the flowers in bloom up on the mountain in december–roses, quince, etc.  that was…different.  i’m used to quinces just starting to bud out in early spring, and roses later.  these were in full bloom. there were many plants greening up instead of going dormant.

next, same location one evening, i heard lots of tree frogs or peepers calling out across the valley, i suppose because it was so warm.  i’ve never encountered that before this time of year.

on the drive home, there was a big tree loaded with huge buzzards or turkey vultures, each one on its own branch, all with their large wings outstretched (i guess to thermoregulate and dry off), just sitting there motionless like tree ornaments.  that was very strange.  i’ve never seen such a thing before.

i’m sure there are many other weird nature anomalies happening, some due to climate change.

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family cooties–worth it

not surprisingly, we brought some cooties back to Ohio with us, after several days exposed to sick/recovering family members.  which is quite alright, considering the love and affection with which it was conveyed!  i wouldn’t have passed that up for the world.  so we’re a little under the weather.

i believe a couple of days spent hibernating and eating E’s homemade chicken penicillin should do the trick, so we can be healthy to join up with The Bobs, who are visiting friends in OH.  this will be E’s first time meeting them, and a long time since i’ve seen them, so we’re really looking forward to it, if the weather holds.

here’s a hopeful little picture from a year ago.  note the familiar mountain theme.








leaving mountains behind

we said our goodbyes and headed north.  the mountains just keep getting better.  i never get tired of taking their picture; it was tough narrowing it down to these.  it was frickin’ 75 degrees out!  i mean, if it weren’t due to climate change, i could live with this all year round.  TN is feeling a little more like home.

the weather got more and more dark and rainy (and colder, it figures) as we approached Cincinnati, until all you could see was watery lights and accidents.  fortunately we avoided any, thanks to E’s careful driving.  eventually we paddled our way home.

yay, xmas is over!  but it was a good trip.  and now back to tightening the belt–literally.

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mountain children

yesterday we made it to TN while it was still dark, rainy, and foggy, so when the scenery was finally visible we were already near the mountains.  it was peculiarly warm and windy.

we hung out with our new friends at Southland Café/ Bookstore, always worthwhile and helpful, then moved into our motel suite.

eventually we drove up the mountain to my son Avdi’s, and got to catch up with my granddaughter Lily after so much time, and then the rest of the family.  it was so unseasonably warm and windy that we hung out on the deck in the gazebo with drinks, overlooking a spectacular sunset over the mountains.  Lily played electric bass in the loft, and we all talked and played with kids until no one had energy left.

today we spent a packed day hanging out with everyone, watching the kids, catching up some more with Lily and Dot, eating a fabulous homemade indian meal by stacey, sitting around a campfire, meeting some new friends of Dot’s, and finally lugging in the mountain of gifts for tomorrow morning.  my car weighs a ton lighter, and i may have lost a pound or two herding kids and dogs.

the strangest thing was how warm it was.  everyone was running around in t-shirts and bare feet, sitting outside with cold drinks to cool off, while flowers were blooming, on christmas eve.

i have so many photos, it will take another post or two to get to them all.  these are just yesterday’s photos, today’s aren’t even ready yet.

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