The Very Best of Humanity is Coming. So is the Worst.

The flyer was in my mailbox, folded and placed by an unknown neighbor. “NEED CORONAVIRUS HELP?” it read, explaining a local “Self-Quarantine Response Team” was here to support those “with compromised immune systems, those in quarantine – or even those who must work or have kids or feel isolated due to social distancing. Please retain this sheet,” it went on, “in the event you need help in the future and don’t hesitate to reach out!” I stood on my doorstep reading it, marveling at how quickly people who lived nearby had organized in the very first days of this growing […]

Stop Comparing Coronavirus to Early HIV/AIDS. Just Stop.

People ask me if our lives today feel like the early years of HIV/AIDS, and I want to scream.  There is no comparison. Just stop. No one cared about people dying of AIDS in the early years of the pandemic. The stock market didn’t budge. The President didn’t hold news conferences. Billions of dollars were not spent. In the early 1980’s, AIDS was killing all the right people. Homosexuals and drug addicts and Black men and women. There is no comparison to a new viral outbreak that might kill people society actually values, like your grandmother and her friends in […]

Deep Thoughts

This was a very hard and yet very fulfilling day for me. In this picture I helped my oldest son (not pictured) on a movie project of his. The movie was a transgender story called, “I Am A Girl.” One of my sons’ best friends was transgender. They wrote a transgender story about coming out. The picture above is me doing what is called focus pulling. My job is to keep the picture in focus. This shoot was very hard on me in many ways, yet it was so rewarding in others. As you can see here, I was presenting […]

NMAC Changes Conference Name from AIDS to HIV…

First things first. I dont believe the national HIV agency,the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), acted thoughtlessly toward people living with AIDS  only one of the accusations leveled against them  when NMAC decided to change the name of their annual conference from The US Conference on AIDS to The US Conference on HIV. The announcement this week of the conference name change produced some visceral reactions, however, including the charge that NMAC had, in one fell swoop, increased exponentially the stigma faced by people living with AIDS. And it is that word, AIDS, tacked there at the end of the […]

Further Along Than We Think

I can tell you from personal experience the world is vastly different today than it was 20-plus years ago when I came out of the closet. Shoot! Its vastly different than it was a year ago. We have more allies, more protective laws, and we have more opportunities than ever before to figure out own likes/dislikes, personalities, purpose in life, and our tribe. Our tribe  the group of people that loves us just as we are  has gotten broader because more and more people accept us instead of attacking us. Thats created opportunity. No longer do we have to hang […]

Finding My Voice

They say sometimes your passion finds you. In a spontaneous one-word outburst in rehearsal last night, I may have found mine. At the end of the play Trans Scripts that Im in currently, we are to call out names of transgender woman. Then it hit me. I yelled at the top of my lungs, Emma. My emotions flooded my senses. I could no longer hold back the last year and a half of tears Id held in. I broke down, cried. It was so intense that I had to find a quiet corner. When I reached the isolated area, I […]

Conversion Therapy’s Extreme Makeover

On January 18th, 2019 the Baltimore Sun reported that a psychotherapist and ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle formally challenged Maryland’s conversion therapy ban on minors through a federal lawsuit against the state. Doyle, who lives in Virginia and practices there and in Maryland, argues that the conversion therapy ban prevented his clients with unwanted same-sex attractions from seeking therapy that would supposedly diminish those attractions. While Doyle acknowledged that draconian practices such as electroshock therapy are ineffective and inhumane, he also argued that banning conversion therapy undermined the efficacy of faith-based counseling for persons with unwanted same-sex attractions. In September, a […]

The Other Side of Survival

What does it mean to be equal to everyone else? It means that we get the opportunity to know ourselves, be ourselves, and embrace ourselves. We get to self-actualize. In other words, we get to fulfill our individual talent and potential. On a larger scale it means that we become capable of opening the door for others until one day we can take the door off for all – for good. That’s what I like about talking to people who’ve “made it”. Each one of them tells a story about how, in the face of incredible odds, they’ve found a […]

Love at Every Stage

We have arrived at the national celebration of love… Valentine’s Day. The implication is that we are to romantically celebrate our cherished partner(s). But, realistically, a lot of us are quietly pining over a crush, healing from a breakup, not interested in intimacy, or trying to explore our identity (to name a few) So, let’s talk about different areas of love. Let us start with the most important (and potentially the most challenging): Self love. The notion that we love ourselves in a whole and unconditional way. Recognizing and affirming who we are – without critical, negative self-talk. The exploration […]

What is Love?

So, for Valentine’s Day, I will try to answer a simple question. What is love? Everyone has their own idea but not all people will see it the same. To me there are different types of love: such as puppy love (crush, infatuation, the hots) parental love (father, mother, brother, sisters) love of community (feeling of belonging) love of life spousal love self-love (many trans people struggle with this one, I did) and (the crown jewel), true love. In movies and TV, we see romantic passionate love. Is that really love? What is the difference between having the hots for […]