A Call for Cameraderie in Combat

This week, in its ever-growing battle to keep American social progress back as many centuries as possible, Alabama passed the most sweeping abortion ban in the country, to date. Heartbeat bills have now been passed in four states, with another one waiting the signature of its governor. There are two states who have had their versions of the law struck down by federal courts, and one that was struck down by the state court. There are three states with similar bills having passed halfway through their respective state houses. That is over a fifth of states that have or have […]

Breaking My Chains

Today, a guest yelled at me. Usually I deal with one to two disgruntled (re: absolutely brutish) guests on a shift. It is currently at the halfway point in my shift this evening, and I am on my second hand of counting individuals who just needed to use me as an emotional outlet. On one hand I am sympathetic – there is nothing more exhausting than an entire day of traveling. As someone who has been all over this country and a couple international places, traveling is exhausting. Vacationing is wonderful – the getting there is not. However, as a […]

Behind-the-Scene Heroes

My wife is the strongest person I know. If you saw her out and about, she looks like the most Clark Kent-esque person, glasses included. Besides her well-documented love of sweets, her hobbies include naps, petting cats, and destroying anyone who faces her in Mario Kart. But behind that sweet and innocent smile lies an indestructible heart of steel and a temperament that allows her to be screamed at all day long by people in the worst moments of their lives. My wife is an emergency dispatch operator and in honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (April 14th to […]

The Boy with the Bicycle

Outside of my life as an activist / columnist / freelance musician, the job that keeps a roof over my head and entirely too much pizza in my diet is as a front desk agent for a hotel. Most of my shifts are uneventful, the most exciting part of the evening being the 15 minutes I eat my salad. The night I met Bo was no exception. It is not uncommon to have people ask to wait inside our lobby to escape the elements in the winter, and the night I met Bo was one of those. It was an […]

Good Parents Bad Son

My earliest memories that are not of me donning miniature versions of my father’s work outfit and carrying around my own tools, are of my mother explaining to me why my brother and I did not look like our parents. While many biracial and black children adopted by white parents grow up in homes that do not push the enrichment of their child’s biological culture and heritage; my parents always encouraged us to explore our roots, and would go out of their comfort zone to ensure we always knew how fiercely we were loved, and how proud we should be […]

Mid-March Musings

Six months ago, a hometown friend posted that the local LGBTQ group has a couple of vacancies on its board of directors. A year prior, this friend had encouraged me to work with him at said group. He was trying to get a trans support group started, and the occasional rant apparently made me someone worth contacting, somehow. I was six months on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and was not feeling as “masculine” as other transmen appeared on Instagram; and obviously I was not good enough. Instead of articulating that as I just did, I dragged my feet answering messages, […]

We Deserve Better

Last week I wrote testimony about Maryland HB 421, which would bring Maryland into the wonderful group of states that removes the tap dance and mountain climb that is changing the gender marker on one’s ID. It would also give a recognition for non-binary Marylanders in the form of an X instead of either gender marker. The Senate companion bill passed and has been sent over for vote to the house. Trans and non-binary Marylanders are rejoicing. This is an amazing, exciting and the exhilarating type of anxious, and I am so mad at Jussie Smollett that I want to […]

Let Us Go to Hell

For the majority of my adolescence, my rock was my faith and spirituality. Even at maximum-angst-levels, when I touted myself a Goth teenage Marxist, my black nail polish and lip-lined self was in the pew every Sunday. In high school I was an acolyte and a member of the praise band. By the time I finished high school, I was attending university with plans to become a youth pastor myself. Even as I began to understand my own sexuality and gender, it was not my decision to walk away from my faith until much later in my life. And even […]

Bad Words and Broken Memories

That is 18-year-old me in the picture with my best friend at the time. Before adulthood firmly separated our paths, we went on the adventures of sitcoms. Like most adolescent friendships, ultimately the experiences we go through are what tie us to each other forever. I’ve had the normal share of best friends forever growing up, and while we have all followed different paths, there are parts of our personalities that have been forever shaped by each other. The blurred face next to me had a flourish of hateful and ignorant rhetoric he needed to shout at my wife via […]

My Transitional Sweet Tooth

When I was in the process of getting my prescription for Testosterone, the last thing on my mind was the side effects of changing the complete hormonal balance of my body. The potential complications, many of which I should have genuinely taken seriously; were completely overshadowed by the idea that I would no longer stare at my friends with the envious gaze of someone who wanted a beard more than anything else in the world. It is an awkward time where people assume you are fourteen and you spend time angling your face in a way that gives your voice […]