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Giving thanks, gender, drag

By |2011-11-24T09:00:00-05:00November 24th, 2011|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

S/He Said

“I am thankful for the small group of close friends who I have been able to come out to since I moved back home and back in the closet. Those friends mean the world to me, because they get to see the real me … In rural America, there can be so few gay people, and it can be quite lonely. However, with a few who I can be open and honest with, it makes the loneliness a little easier. I am also thankful that on the 30th of this month, I will have another birthday. Some people fret over being a year older, but I like being a year older a lot better than the alternative. I am thankful for my health and for the fact that I live in a country where each year I get older GLBT community continues to gain the rights and struggles for equality that we deserve. There is so much to be thankful for, but these are the big ones.”
-JoeBlow, blogger and graduate student living in the South, on his blog titled
“The Closet Professor,” in his blog posting titled “What I Am Thankful For,” http://www.closetprofessor.blogspot.com, Nov. 21

“Every generation has seen the gender line blur and break a little more. It is my hope and prayer that we’ve pushed against it hard enough that not only have glass ceilings started to crack, but also that our children are starting to grow up knowing that their gender or sex need not determine the scope of their dreams or the breadth of their lives, loves and hopes. Maybe we’ve finally reached a point where our own actions, responses and inclinations have ceased to place limits on one another. But that’s simply not true. Not yet.”
-Rev. G. Jude Geiger, Minister of Lifespan Religious Education at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Brooklyn, in his column titled “Transgender Day of Remembrance: Embracing Our Whole Human Family, http://www.huffingtonpost.com Nov. 20.

“How do we prevent these transgender children from being rejected? How do we end the climate of hatred and fear that has claimed the lives of many transgender people? We believe that K-12 schools and colleges must take the lead in recognizing and educating about gender diversity. They must implement nondiscrimination policies inclusive of gender identity and expression to protect transgender youth, and they must educate students about the full richness and diversity of gender. For if we are to no longer need the Day of Remembrance in the future, society has to move beyond the binary of two unchanging genders – and if we teach our children well, they can be the ones who will bring about that day.”
-Sue Rankin and Genny Beemyn, co-authors of “The Lives of Transgender People,” in their column titled “Transgender Day of Remembrance 2011: A Hostile Climate Continues for Transgender People,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com, Nov. 19.

“Drag for me was born out of a calling to be an activist. It was the late 80s and it was a scary time for a young gay man in New York City. It was a time when walking down the street you could see the effect of AIDS on people walking towards you … I know you all might be thinking – so you became a drag queen? I always felt that the way to educate people who didn’t understand me was to tell my story. But I took it a step further and I made the choice to embrace everything I have ever been taught to hate about myself and instead glorify it. Celebrate it. I would embrace my two-spirit nature with the intention that people would listen to my story and forget all (my) drag – they would realize that despite appearances, it is what is on the inside that matters. And what every human being really wants and deserves – is love, respect, equality and justice.”
-Miss Coco Peru, an award honoree at L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s 40th Anniversary Gala, explaining how the early years of the AIDS epidemic and his anger led him to create his drag alter ego, http://www.lgbtpov.com, Oct. 25.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.