Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Back on my soapbox

So very many things that I could talk about at length today, and many of them quite important, but instead, I will just briefly get up on my soapbox and say a few things that I am feeling this morning. In the days ahead, I will likely go into these things in greater detail.

Last night I learned of one of my former bosses. His name was Chuck, and he hired me at a time when I didn't know if I would ever work in broadcasting again. He believed in me. Oh my! That makes all the difference in the world. It's been many years since then, but I will never forget this man who taught me many things and showed me every day the importance of family and friends. I've never had an employer quite like him. Rest in peace boss.

This morning I am waking up to more sad news. A giant in the activist community took his life last night. He was someone who really made a difference, and as an intactivist he made so many aware for the issues surrounding circumcision. it does matter where you stand on the issue, this man opened up dialogue. Jonathon, you will be missed.

Something that I will scream and yell about until no more lives are lost, is suicide. We need to do more. Please note that blame does nothing to help move us forward. Certainly don't blame the person who takes his own life, especially when you don't know what drove him to that point. More love and more support in this world might be a good step in the right direction. A person who is suicidal, may not ask for help, but that does not mean that help isn't wanted. If you are reading this, and you have been thinking of taking your life, talk to someone you trust and remember that a national hotline is there for you every moment. Call the suicide prevention number at 1-800-273-8255.

There was excellent news yesterday from our federal government. How many transgender individuals take their own lives each year? How many transgender individuals are victims of discrimination? How many are violently assaulted or killed? Too many family members have turned their backs and there has been little official supports from governments, that is why yesterday's words from US Attorney General Loretta Lynch are so incredibly important. Someone even said it was the transgender community's "I have a dream" moment. Announcing a federal civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina, Ms Lynch said "They created state-sponsored discrimination."

The transgender community must think at times that they are all alone and that nobody at all cares if they live or die. I have numerous transgender friends, and nearly all of them have expressed to me the feelings of fear and isolation that are all too common. Yesterday, the Attorney General of the United States said she stands with them. Her words were pretty powerful, and so before I step down from my soapbox, I want to quote her.

"Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades. Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead. But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama Administration wants you to know that we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward. Please know that history is on your side. This country was founded on a promise of equal rights for all, and we have always managed to move closer to that promise, little by little, one day at a time. It may not be easy – but we’ll get there together."

I like that last word especially - together. It's the best way to do anything.

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