Culture of Empowerment

Hey y’all,

Well this week has been quite a roller coaster emotionally. It started with coming back from D.C. on Sunday, which was an amazing experience. Monday was the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. I remember waking up a year ago to find out that one of my gay sanctuaries had been attacked. As the death toll rose that day I was devastated. A year later, I still mourn for those lost. An older trans woman at my internship was talking about it in passing at work and mentioned that her generation of queer people just expected that kind of stuff to happen in a way that mine has never had to. She said the trans elders are the only ones who get to be tired, and my generation has to lead the fight. That’s scary to hear, but she’s right.

On Tuesday, I got my grades back. Despite my unwavering belief that I failed Property, I didn’t. I actually did better in Property than I did in Employment Law. I was, and still am, disappointed in my Employment Law grade. I get really frustrated with exams that amount to typing contests since I’m a horrible typist. Sigh. Oh, and for all of y’all who put up with my complaining about my “feelings papers,” y’all should be happy to know I did quite well in my externship. Lol

When our GPAs were updated on Wednesday, I found out that my GPA went up from last semester, and compared to last year, it improved 3.1 tenths of a point. I was still pretty down despite this good news. It was a depressing feeling that I similarly had when I got my fall semester grades back in January. To be fair, I was experiencing feeling a little down before my grades came out. How I was feeling doesn’t make sense because on paper everything is rainbows and butterflies here in NYC. I guess emotions don’t make sense all of the time.

On Friday, I went with the other intern to watch a couple of oral arguments at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Both cases were about civil rights issues (religious and free speech discrimination in employment) and were appealing summary judgment. It was really cool to see. I thought it was interesting that some of the competitions that I’ve watched at school had hotter benches than the one I observed on Friday.

Yesterday, I went to Bronx Pride with one of my co-workers. Despite the rain at the beginning, everyone had a great time. Being around so many trans people of color, especially the elders really put everything back into perspective for me. Some have been fighting to survive for decades. Some have been thriving for decades. All have been committed to the movement for decades.

The Bronx Pride was incredibly trans-centered. They gave out many awards to those that have supported my community. There’s an entire culture here, trans and queer, that I’m learning about. I have an entire culture that I’m finally learning about and experiencing. It’s a powerful thing. I don’t feel so down anymore.

All the best,

Harris

 

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In front of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

D.C. Pride

Hey y’all!

So another week of living in NYC has come and gone. I’m not in love with being there. I don’t hate it, but I’m not in love. Maybe when I explore the city more next weekend it will grow on me some more. I do like work and my co-workers. I did really enjoy our fundraising event on Thursday. I struggled to think of a time where I was surrounded by more transgender people. I guess the only comparable situation I can think of would be during last year’s lavender law conference. It’s always great to be surrounded by your people. It’s this feeling of family and instant comfort. I even got to meet the amazing Janet Mock and got a copy of one of her books. It was a in fact a “rainbows and butterflies” kind of night.

This weekend I went to Washington D.C. to celebrate a friend’s birthday and go to Pride and the Equality March. Overall, I had a really great time. There was glitter, alcohol, rainbows, feathers, high heels, short shorts, and more alcohol.

It was truly amazing to run around shirtless for pride. For the first time since I can remember I felt proud of how I looked… beer belly and all! Some might think that transgender people are overly obsessed with physical appearance, but once you finally get to see the person that you’ve been wishing to see for years looking back at you in the mirror, damn right you’re proud. I got many knowing smiles from other transgender people as the parade went down the street yesterday and as I marched through the streets for equality today. Having that kind of support means the world to me.

I also can’t help but think about how this trip was different than my last trip to Washington. Last time, I was so excited to go see all the monuments and proud to take my picture in front of the White House. Being in Washington has made me miss President Obama even more. This time, I joined countless others in giving the White House the middle finger as we marched by.

One could say that my behavior was childish and disrespectful. It might even come back to haunt me one day if I run for office. But, I and the thousands of other marchers today have a right to be angry and express it how we choose. Our rights are being threatened and our very democracy is being undermined. Telling me or any other marginalized person how or how not to express anger is oppressive and seeks to undermine the very real feelings that we have. This kind of anger seems to be limited to those of majority status but certainly shouldn’t be. So I’m going to keep marching, keep yelling, and yes, keep flipping the White House the bird because I’m angry.

All the best,

Harris

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And I’m Back

Hey everyone,

As you know, it has been quite a while since I’ve been on here. I have been really busy with school, finals, packing, and moving to New York City for the summer. I am kind of disappointed that I haven’t been keeping up with my blog, but obviously I’ve had a lot going on lately.

I am approximately 830 miles away from home, Georgia’s Alexander Campbell King Law Library! I’m kidding… sort of. So yeah, I arrived in NYC last Sunday afternoon by train. While it was cheaper to take the train because of all my luggage, I didn’t sleep hardly at all. The damn train whistle went off at every road/tracks crossing. There was a surprising amount of room on the train, and it was nice to get up and walk around a good bit. I’d like to fly back, but I’ll probably take the train back to save some money.

Speaking of money, this place isn’t cheap! I’m really mad that I was forced to buy eight meals a week in NYU’s dining hall, and it isn’t even open on weekends right now. I’m not sure it’s going to be open on weekends. I’ll find out more tomorrow at a hall meeting.

Right now my biggest obstacle is getting my testosterone. I was supposed to take my shot the Friday before I left, but since the prescription was in Athens, I just thought I’d wait to transfer it to a CVS here. When I went to a nearby CVS they told me that I couldn’t transfer the prescription into the state because it’s a controlled substance, and my doctor would have to write a new one. It took me a couple of days to call the doctor because everything was so hectic at work. So long story short is that my doctor in Athens snail-mailed a prescription to a CVS here in the city, and I hope to do my shot this week. That means I’ll be basically two weeks behind on my shot. Needless to say, I’m a little tired and grumpy from being low-T. I just hope it doesn’t cost me too much when I get it filled…

As for some good news, I met up with someone that will be going to Georgia Law next year. We had a great time walking around Greenwich Village and getting some ice cream. He won’t be here the entire summer, but I’m sure that we’ll hang out a lot before he heads back to Georgia.

Overall, I like being here alright. On Friday night, I had drinks with Kylar Broadus, a work colleague from TLDEF. It was really amazing to talk about the trans movement, trans guy stuff, trans lawyer stuff, and the like with him. I also am glad that it isn’t too hot so far. I live on the 14th floor of the dorm, but I don’t have air conditioner. At some point I’ll get a fan. I do still miss Athens, but I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.

All the best,

Harris