I looked at “Big Red” Deb laid out in the hospital, tubes running out of her, blood running out of her, but saw a strong soul running within her. She was sedate, resting, not in peace, but in the unsettled and medicated calm that comes after violence. Her close friends gathered around her bed, stroking her hair and blanketing her with warm thoughts.
“Her feet are cold,” said one loved one. “So are her hands,” said another.
A nurse pointed out how pretty Deb’s toes looked. She had just got them did that morning in preparation for The Original Big 7’s Mother’s Day Second Line. A doctor trying to wake Deb up told her to wiggle her toes if she could hear them. A friend told the doctor that Deb wasn’t one to take orders.
Deb’s tongue seemed to push its way through her teeth as she lay, still asleep, as if she was trying to say something. I tried to imagine what she attempted to say as bullets ripped through her back, perhaps running from the monster who opened fire on the Mother’s Day parade crowd.
What kind of monster opens fire on a Mother’s Day parade crowd? What kind of animal? I hate myself for thinking to ask this in these exact terms, but it’s these exact terms in which I’m thinking.
Cecilia Chung: Why she kicks ass
- She is an Internationally recognized civil rights leader, advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness and care, LGBT equality, social justice and human rights.
- She is currently a Health Commissioner in San Francisco where she is the first trans woman appointed to the position by Mayor Ed Lee. Cecilia was also the first trans woman and first person living openly with HIV elected Chair to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission where she has served for over seven years.
- She has broken ground in a number of ways including: being the first transgender woman and first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration; the first transgender woman and first person living openly with HIV to Chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission; and, an architect of the nation’s most ambitious publicly funded program addressing economic justice within the transgender community.
- In 1994 she was a member of the Transgender Discrimination Taskforce, which released a groundbreaking report by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, documenting widespread discrimination against trans people. The report led the City to adopt many pioneering anti-discrimination ordinances and policies.
- She is the former Deputy Director of the Transgender Law Center, has also served on a number of planning bodies, including the San Francisco HIV Health Services Planning Council, and was a trainer of Community Planning for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- In 2001, she was elected President of the Board of Directors of San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration, becoming the first Asian and first transgender women to hold the position, and she lead the Board to a new standard of inclusion and excellence.
- In 2004, as a founding producer of Trans March, she helped organize one of the world’s largest annual trans events.
I want to talk about violence. I want to talk about how outraged I am that few people and few news centers are outraged about the shooting rampage in New Orleans at a Mothers Day Parade today. I am upset that there is not as much news coverage as there was at the violence at the Boston Marathon or at the school. There are so many reasons that this is different and I think it’s rooted in sexism, classism, and racism. I want to write about this… to be continued later this week.
To the beautiful folks in New Orleans: you are on my mind, you are in my heart, I am thinking of you, I am talking about the violence even more than the Boston Marathon tragedy. Sending my love to you.
“Maybe is a vicious little word that can slay me
Keep me when I’m hurting you make me,
Hang from your hands” -Sara Bareillis
Maybe… It is such a vicious word. I’ve seen it bring down people hoping for the happily ever after someday, maybe from that one person—that one person who could only promise them.. maybe. I’m doing my best to not keep people on maybe, to not answer with a maybe, but to be as honest as possible and to answer with a yes or no.
I’m also doing my best to not hang on your maybe, to not hang on your false promise of tomorrow; ya know, if you don’t find something better. I am going to be someone’s YES, and I’m also okay with being someone’s no. That’s fine too.
I went on a date with someone a few months ago and they realized that they weren’t interested. You know what they did after? They told me, they had a great time, but they weren’t interested in me. That’s cool. It actually felt really great to have someone be honest with me and to not hold me in a dishonest, in-between place.
I am striving to be honest, respectful, and clear with people. I am definitely not perfect, and I don’t actually have clear a yes or no feeling about some people, but I can honest about that instead. Instead of saying maybe.
This using clear answers with my friends is important too. I want to tell people yes or no, or to explain why my plans are uncertain. They deserve to know whats up, and they deserve clear answers. I want to live in honesty and love, and to be treated the same way.